Falcon 9

SpaceX's first rocket launch of 2021 will deploy a Turkish satellite this week

SpaceX's first rocket launch of 2021 will deploy a Turkish satellite this week

Featured Image Source: SpaceX

SpaceX will start the new year by launching a communications satellite for Turkey. A Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to liftoff on Thursday, January 7, during a launch window which opens at 8:28 p.m. and closes at 12:28 a.m. Eastern Time. A back-up launch opportunity is also scheduled for Friday [date is subject to change]. The United States Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron forecasts 60% "GO" conditions during Thursday’s four-hour launch window at Cape Canaveral’s Launch Complex 40. The main weather concern is related to a cold front that will move across Florida this week. “The boundary itself and any notable precipitation is not expected to arrive until after the launch window, however there will be a small threat for a passing shower ahead of the boundary,” forecasters stated on Tuesday, document shown below.

Source: U.S. Space Force 

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 will propel the Turksat-5A communications satellite to geostationary orbit. Turksat-5A will be the country’s fourth satellite in space. SpaceX will also deploy the country’s next satellite Turksat-5B in 2021. Both satellites are manufactured by Airbus Defense and Space; Each weigh 4,500 kilograms and is equipped with 42 transponders that will beam signals down to Earth. The satellites feature Ku- and Ka-band capabilities, providing broadband speeds of up to 50 gigabits per second. Last year on September 8, the head of Turkey’s Presidential Digital Transformation Office, Ali Taha Koc, said –“With Turksat-5A, Turkey will have a coverage area that encompasses the Middle East, Europe, North Africa, and South Africa.”

In 2020, the Chief Executive of Turksat Cenk Sen, told Turkish reporters the country aims to have at least six satellites in orbit and work to develop a space program – “Turkey is ambitiously moving forward to become a competitive space systems manufacturer, and will become a stakeholder for manned and unmanned space missions in the near future. We expect the satellite market to become much more competitive in the coming years. But Turksat will be more than ready for any competition with its six satellites,” he said.

Image Source: SpaceX 

About the Author

Evelyn Arevalo

Evelyn Arevalo

Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.

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