SpaceX Falcon 9 set to launch Israeli satellite

Katie Ramirez
August 7, 2019

After he attended and watched the launch of NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission it gave him what is known in the space community as "rocket fever".

The satellite's heavy payload and Geo Stationary Transfer Orbit requires the first stage rocket to reach a significantly higher altitude than other recovered missions with less fuel to slow its descent.

Israel's Amos 17 communications satellite was launched successfully on Wednesday night from Cape Canaveral Space Center in Florida on a launcher owned by the American SpaceX company.

Unlike numerous missions that the Hawthorne, California-based company carries out these days, SpaceX did not attempt to recover the rocket's first stage. The launch is SpaceX's tenth for the year. This was a makeup launch for Spacecom, the Israeli satellite operator that lost its Amos-6 spacecraft when a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded on the launch pad in 2016.

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With the separation of the first section of the launcher, the Flacon 9 was propelled exclusively by the single engine in the second section, which was carrying the Amos 17. This is the company's workhorse Falcon 9 launch vehicle. A droneship, stationed in the Atlantic Ocean, then attempts to catch the fairing with a giant net.

What SpaceX is proposing is a series of Falcon 9 missions that don't have a primary satellite.

Manufactured by Boeing Satellite Systems International, Amos-17 is 6.5-ton high-power, HTS, whose payload has been created to meet the demand of the African continent, though it will also have connectivity to the Middle East, Europe, India, China and as far west as Brazil. Through the SpaceX's rideshare program, the smaller satellites will be launched on time with or without other satellites. That was about 30 minutes past the originally planned launch time, with the liftoff delayed while SpaceX officials monitored questionable weather conditions in Florida.

AEHF satellites provide highly-secure, jam-proof connectivity between US national leadership and deployed military forces.

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