SpaceX - THALES Mission patch.
April 27, 2015
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket THALES Mission launch
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station today carrying Turkmenistan's first communications satellite to orbit.
After a nearly 50-minute delay due to cloud cover, the 224-foot rocket lifted off from Launch Complex 40 at 7:03 p.m., roaring from the pad with 1.3 million pounds of thrust.
SpaceX Thales Mission - Falcon 9 Launch
Atop the rocket was a nearly 10,000-pound satellite headed for an orbit 22,300 miles over the equator. It was scheduled to separate from the rocket's upper stage 32 minutes after liftoff.
The satellite is officially called TurkmenAlem52E/MonacoSat, reflecting its planned orbital position at a longitude of 52 degrees east. Monaco provided that orbital position and will take some of the satellite's capacity to beam TV, phone and Internet services to parts of Central Asia, Europe and Africa.
Thales Alenia Space of France built the satellite and contracted for the launch, which SpaceX referred to as the "Thales mission."
The launch was the second in 13 days from the Cape by a Falcon 9 rocket, and fifth this year – one shy of SpaceX's total for all of 2014. It was the 18th flight of a Falcon 9 overall since its debut in 2010.
Next up for SpaceX is an important test of the Dragon capsule the company is developing to fly astronauts.
For more information about SpaceX, visit: http://www.spacex.com/
Images, Video, Text, Credits: SpaceX/Thales Alenia Space/Orbiter.ch Aerospace.