It included the Falcon 9's largest ever payload, the Hispasat 30W-6 communications satellite, which is "almost the size of a city bus". The company announced at the end of February that the launch would be delayed due to extended testing and scheduling issues. On Tuesday, SpaceX will make an attempt at putting the satellite in transfer orbit before it transitions to a geostationary orbit and then to its final position at 30 W, said a release from Hispasat. In that duration, the Falcon 9 placed the Spanish satellite in GTO at an altitude of around 37,000 km above the Earth.
30W-6 is a three-booster rocket that will deliver broadcast services for broadband, corporate networks, television, telephony, landlines, mobile telephones and video conferencing and other telecommunications applications. The satellite that it put into orbit is a Spanish communications satellite.
Less than two weeks after launching out of California, SpaceX is ready to fly its next Falcon 9 rocket, this time from Florida.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket made a trip to space for the 50th time early Tuesday morning, East Coast time.
Following ULA's launch last Thursday of the GOES-S weather satellite, the mission was the second in five days from the Eastern Range, and the sixth overall from the Cape this year.
This payload is heavier than anything SpaceX has sent into geostationary orbit with the intention of landing the booster afterward.
Hispasat 30W-6 is equipped with 40 Ku-band transponders, as well as 10 in C-band and 6 in Ka-band.
SpaceX commonly lands Falcon 9 first stages during such missions, as part of the company's effort to develop fully and rapidly reusable launch systems.
Since its first flight, the Falcon 9 has grown more than 50 feet and gained some 600,000 lbs.
The satellite is Madrid-based Hispasat's 11th in orbit, concluding an expansion that more than doubled the company's fleet over the past five years.