Featured Image Source: Airbus
SpaceX is preparing to deploy the ANASIS-II (Army/Navy/Air Force Satellite Information System) satellite for the Republic of South Korea. The military satellite will launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 40 at the United States Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The mission is scheduled for no earlier than July 14th (time pending).
The satellite is manufactured by Airbus Defense and Space, it will be operated by South Korea's Agency for Defense Development. South Korea made an agreement in 2014 with Lockheed Martin to acquire ANASIS-II as a side deal when it purchased an F-35A Joint Strike Fighter. Then, the company subcontracted the satellite manufacturing work to Airbus in 2016.
ANASIS-II arrived to the United States from an Airbus factory located in Toulouse, France. An Antonov An-124 cargo airplane transported it to a SpaceX facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, where teams are conducting final preparations. In the week ahead, the satellite will be integrated atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket's fairing. Falcon 9 will deploy the ANASIS-II satellite into an elliptical transfer orbit. ANASIS- II will use its integrated propulsion system to reach an altitude of 36,000 kilometers over the equator, where it will operate in geostationary orbit to provide coverage to the Korean Peninsula over a 6,000-kilometer radius. Not much has been revealed about the satellite’s exact function because it’s a South Korean government mission, all that is known is that the satellite is based on the Eurostar-3000 satellite platform. The design can be modified to meet specific requirements by the customer.
For the first time in 9 years, we have now launched American astronauts on American rockets from American soil. I'm so proud of the @NASA and @SpaceX team for making this moment possible. #LaunchAmerica https://t.co/XiqPAj6Saa— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) May 30, 2020
This mission is expected to be carried out by a previously-flown Falcon 9 rocket first-stage booster, production number B1058. This particular rocket booster is special because it made history when it lifted NASA astronauts to orbit aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft for the first time on May 30 (Demo-2 mission). The aerospace company is currently the only in the world that has achieved landing orbital-class rockets over 50 times. Falcon 9’s first-stage is capable of launching a payload to space and returns to land vertically on an autonomous drone ship at sea. SpaceX recovers and reuses rockets in order to reduce the cost of spaceflight.