SpaceX sent a communications satellite for Israeli satellite controller Spacecom Aug. 6 on an expendable Falcon 9 task.
The rocket took off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 7:23 p.m. Eastern, following a three-day delay to switch a suspect rocket lid.
Amos-17, Spacecom’s latest satellite, separated from the rocket’s upper stage 32 minutes after liftoff. The launch is SpaceX’s tenth for the year.
Spacecom famously lost a satellite, Amos-6, throughout a Falcon 9 explosion days before a planned launch in 2016. The satellite controller stated in 2017 that credits would fully support its launch of Amos-17 from the unfulfilled projects.
Constructed by Boeing, Amos-17 is designed to provide broadcast and broadband connectivity services throughout sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, the Middle East and several parts of Asia. The satellite carries a mix of C-, Ku- and Ka-band transponders, plus a digital channelizer for improved capability allocation and signals intrusion reduction.
SpaceX used the same first-stage booster to launch two earlier satellites: Telstar-19 Vantage for Canadian controller Telesat in July 2018, and Es’hail-2 for Qatari operator Es’hailSat in November 2018. The corporate didn’t land the Falcon 9 booster for this project, giving the fuel that would have been used for recovery instead of sending the 6,500-kilogram satellite into orbit.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted after the launch that a drone ship efficiently captured a payload fairing from the project.
Amos-17 is planned to function for 20 years — five times more than the typical geostationary communications satellite. With PV panels deployed, the satellite has a wingspan of 35 meters.