Early Saturday morning, we watched SpaceX launch its most flown booster out of Vandenberg Space Force Base with 52 Starlink satellites. This evening we watched SpaceX launch just one communication satellite to geostationary transfer orbit out of Florida.
Türksat 5B on its way to geostationary orbit
The mission of today’s launch was to deploy Türksat 5B into a geostationary transfer orbit. This orbit brings one side of the payload’s orbit out to GEO and leaves the other near LEO. The spacecraft then assumes the responsibility to finish raising its orbit. The Türksat satellite will support broadband internet services to parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
Now in orbit, Türksat 5B will slowly use electric propulsion to raise its orbit over the coming weeks. Once in the correct position over Earth, the satellite will deploy its six Ka-Band dishes to begin servicing customers for at least the next 30 years.
SpaceX making launches look easy
Liftoff of Türksat took place at 10:58 p.m. EST, 15 hours and 17 minutes after Starlink Group 4-4, which launched from the West Coast on Saturday morning. This has been the quickest turnaround between individual SpaceX launches. While they may have taken place on separate coasts, two launches on the same day is extremely impressive and unprecedented for a launch provider to do.
Next up for SpaceX is a launch for NASA, a resupply mission to the International Space Station early next week. Currently, SpaceX sits at a total of 30 launches, the most by a long shot of any other US company and only behind China as a whole (49 launches).
Featured Image: Jared Locke / Space Explored