On Wednesday, June 29, SpaceX launched the 27th mission of 2022. A previously-flown Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 5:04 p.m. EDT from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station's Space Launch Complex-40 (SLC-40) in Florida, carrying the SES-22 communication satellite. The satellite is owned by SES, a Luxembourg-based satellite and terrestrial telecommunications network provider that supplies video and data connection services globally.
Liftoff! pic.twitter.com/sHs0vUvzy3— SpaceX (@SpaceX) June 29, 2022
The Falcon 9 that supported the SES-22 mission is identified as B1073-2. This was the second launch of this particular booster, which previously supported the deployment of Starlink satellites. Approximately 8-minutes after liftoff, the Falcon 9 first-stage booster returned from orbit and landed on the 'A Shortfall of Gravitas' autonomous droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. It marked SpaceX’s 127th landing of an orbital-class rocket and the 103rd time the company reuses a booster. Rocket reusability significantly reduces the cost of spaceflight.
Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas pic.twitter.com/wuu9B4EMda— SpaceX (@SpaceX) June 29, 2022
The SES-22 communication satellite was deployed into a geosynchronous transfer orbit around 33-minutes after liftoff. The satellite is built by Thales Alenia Space and is designed to broadcast digital television and 5G service in the United States. The SES-22 satellite will begin operations in August 2022. "It will deliver TV and radio to millions of American homes and provide other critical data transmission services. SES-22 is expected to start operations by early August 2022," said the company in a press release.
Nominal fairing deployment pic.twitter.com/7mtztaNZ52— SpaceX (@SpaceX) June 29, 2022
"The launch of SES-22 is part of a broader Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program to clear a portion of C-band spectrum to enable wireless operators to deploy 5G services across the contiguous US (CONUS). In response to a mandate from the FCC, satellite operators such as SES are required to transition their existing services from the lower 300 MHz to the upper 200 MHz of C-band spectrum to make room for 5G," said SES representatives. "To meet the FCC’s accelerated deadline of clearing C-band spectrum across the US by December 2023 while maintaining uninterrupted services, SES will launch five satellites – SES-18, SES-19, SES-20, SES-21 and SES-22 in 2022." SES plans to launch the satellites from Cape Canaveral this year. The company booked five SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets and one United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket.
Deployment of SES-22 pic.twitter.com/eV2U42JgdX— SpaceX (@SpaceX) June 29, 2022
“We are thrilled with the successful launch of SES-22, thanks to our partners at Thales Alenia Space and SpaceX,” said Steve Collar, CEO of SES. “The launch of SES-22, together with other upcoming C-band satellite launches scheduled this year, will enable us to continue providing the high-quality services that our customers have been accustomed to over the last several decades, while freeing up spectrum that will enable the US to rapidly unlock the promise of 5G.”
“The successful launch of SES 22 is the result of our long-standing and fruitful collaboration with SES,” said Hervé Derrey, President and CEO of Thales Alenia Space. “This achievement reflects the robustness and flight-proven heritage of our Spacebus 4000 B2 platform combined with our ability to timely and quickly deliver SES-22, two key elements leading to the decision of SES working with us to replace its existing C-Band fleet.”
Featured Image Source: SpaceX Launch Broadcast