Launch Spotlight: SpaceX launching Türksat 5B on a Falcon 9 rocket

Less than 24 hours since its most recent launch, SpaceX is preparing to launch Türksat 5B from one of its launch sites in Florida. Operated by Türksat A.Ş., the satellite will sit in geostationary orbit and service parts of Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa with direct TV and telecommunications. This will mark SpaceX’s 30th launch of 2021.

Launch Date: Saturday, December 18, 10:58 p.m. EST

Rocket: SpaceX Falcon 9 (1067-3)

Payload: Turksat 5B

Launch Pad: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida

Destination: Geostationary Transfer Orbit

Landing Site: A Shortfall of Gravitas, Atlantic Ocean

What is the Falcon 9?

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is the workhorse of commercial launches into Earth orbit. Nine Merlin engines power the partially reusable rocket on the first stage and a single vacuum optimized Merlin on the second stage. The Falcon 9 has launched a total of 132 times with a 98% success rate, making it a highly trusted vehicle among the commercial, scientific, and defense sectors.

The Booster

The youngest Falcon 9 booster, B1067, first took flight in June of 2021 on the CRS-22 mission to the International Space Station. Its second flight was SpaceX’s Crew-3 just over a month ago. Now it moves from civil missions to commercial with Türksat 5B. Since the development of the Block 5 booster, SpaceX has slowed its production of Falcon 9s, relying more on reflying them.

List of SpaceX’s B1067 launches

  1. SpaceX CRS-22 (June 3, 2021)
  2. SpaceX Crew-3 (November 11, 2021)

How to watch Türksat 5B launch

If you are in the Space Coast area, there is plenty of public viewing area along US 1 near Port Canaveral, make sure to watch out for traffic. The best live views will be found during SpaceX’s live coverage of the launch. It typically starts 15 minutes before liftoff and can be found on the company’s YouTube channel.

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