SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket carrying TV broadcast satellite launched

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket carrying TV broadcast satellite launched

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the direct-to-home television broadcast satellite EchoStar 23 blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center’s historic launch pad 39A. Powered by nine Merlin-1D engines, the Falcon 9 rocket blasted off at 2 a.m. EDT (0600 GMT), turned east and started rumbling skyward, making a hurried trek across the Atlantic Ocean to place the satellite into orbit.

The launch was pushed back by nearly half an hour out of concern for unfavorable high-altitude winds. Previously, high winds forced the company to scrub the originally planned launch on Tuesday.

For the two-and-a-half hour launch window on Thursday, the U.S. Air Force weather team had predicted a 90 per cent chance of acceptable weather.

Based on the SSL 1300 satellite bus, the tri-band EchoStar 23 satellite has the ability to conduct multiple types of missions. Communications payload of the satellite includes Ka-band, Ku-band and S-band transponders.

The 12,345-pound (5,600 kilograms) satellite required all of the Falcon 9’s lift capability, which left no propellant over to attempt a propulsive vertical landing of the rocket on a barge at sea.