New Delhi : SpaceX, the private American aerospace company has successfully launched Telstar 18 Vantage communications satellite into orbit. The launch has been done with the help of Falcon 9 rocket which positioned the satellite before landing in the Atlantic Ocean.
Sources confirmed that there was a 77-minute delay due to unfavourable weather. Yet, the rocket successfully, lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and deployed the Telstar 18 Vantage (18V) communications satellite, also known as Apstar 5C, into orbit 32 minutes later. About 8 minutes after liftoff, the rocket booster stuck a landing aboard SpaceX's East Coast drone ship named "Of Course I Still Love You."
"We don't have a view but we hear recovery calling out, 'Falcon 9 has landed,'" John Insprucker, Falcon 9 principal integration engineer, said during SpaceX's launch webcast
SpaceX said that this mission used the new "Block 5" variant of the Falcon 9 rocket and was the fourth to use this updated model. While the previous Telstar mission launched on a reused Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket in July, the Telstar 18V satellite launched on a brand-new rocket.
Telstar 18V is the third high-throughput satellite in a constellation launched by a Canadian company called Telesat, and it will be the first satellite to provide communication coverage over the Asia-Pacific region
According to officials, Telstar 18V will provide constant broadband communications services to China, Mongolia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Ocean region. Also, the new satellite "will replace and expand on the capabilities of Telesat's Telstar 18 satellite," which launched in 2004. It is also the second-heaviest communications satellite ever launched, weighing in at 15,564 lbs. (7,060 kilograms), according to Spaceflight Now.