SpaceX launched a high-powered Spanish communications satellite on Monday that will serve government and corporate users in the Americas, Greenland and along the Atlantic Ocean air and shipping corridors.
“One of the main target markets for this satellite is mobility, particularly in-flight connectivity and maritime (services),” said Ignacio Sanchis, commercial director of the Hispasat satellite owner. space flight now.
“We will also be providing connectivity services for governments and corporations in the fields of energy, oil and gas, etc., as well as mobile and telecommunications network operators in the extension of their cellular networks,” added Sanchis.
Using a first stage making its sixth flight, the 229-foot-tall Falcon 9 came to life at 8:32 p.m. The Atlantic ocean.
Thirty-six minutes later, after dropping the first stage and performing two upper stage engine burns, the rocket launched Hispasat’s Amazonas Nexus repeater station into an elliptical orbit. Along the way, the first stage flew solo to land on an offshore landing barge.
Electric thrusters aboard the Amazonas Nexus satellite will be used over the next few weeks to circularize the orbit at an altitude of 22,300 miles above the equator. In such geosynchronous orbits, spacecraft take 24 hours to complete one orbit and therefore appear to hang stationary in the sky. That, in turn, allows the use of stationary antennas on the ground.
Built by Thales Alenia Space, the 4.5-tonne Amazonas Nexus is a “high-performance satellite,” or HTS, featuring a next-generation digital transparent processor, a “technological breakthrough,” the company says, that will allow the satellite to be upgraded in orbit for different applications.
“Amazonas Nexus is the most advanced satellite in the Hispasat fleet,” said Sanchis. “It’s a very powerful HTS satellite, incorporating (a) state-of-the-art digital processor. So it provides great flexibility for payload reconfiguration.”
Once verified and stationed at 61 degrees west longitude, the satellite will serve the entire Americas, Greenland, and air and sea corridors, focusing on mobile users and providing connectivity aboard ships, aircraft, and in rural areas.