SpaceX Retires A Veteran Falcon 9 Booster After Successfully Launching Eutelsat Mission

SpaceX Retires A Veteran Falcon 9 Booster After Successfully Launching Eutelsat Mission

Eutelsat is a French satellite operator that provides coverage over the entire European continent, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, as well as the Americas. It is the world's third-largest satellite operator that manages a fleet of 36 satellites which broadcast nearly 7,000 television stations and 1,100 radio stations to over 274 million homes around the world. The company also provides broadband internet services from geostationary orbit. This year, SpaceX launched two Eutelsat satellites: the HOTBIRD 13F on October 15 and the HOTBIRD 13G on November 3rd. Both designed to serve television customers.

On Tuesday, November 22nd, SpaceX retired a veteran Falcon 9 booster after successfully launching the third Eutelsat mission which deployed the 10B broadband satellite. The ten-times-flown rocket lifted off an eleventh time at 9:57 p.m. ET from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. The mission launched after a couple delays due to unfavorable weather along Florida’s coast.


SpaceX typically recovers Falcon 9 first-stage boosters after each mission for future use, however, for the Eutelsat 10B mission the rocket had to be expendable to meet the customer’s orbital needs. Falcon 9 launched the Eutelsat 10B satellite into a Geosynchronous transfer orbit which required the use of all the booster’s fuel because of the heavy mass of the satellite that weighs roughly 5.5 metric tons (around 12,000 pounds). Using all the booster’s fuel was necessary to get a proper orbit injection. The veteran booster that has now been retired is identified as B1049-11; it splashed down in the ocean to complete its final flight. The booster previously supported the launch of the Telstar 18 mission, VANTAGE, Iridium-8, and nine Starlink missions. The partially reusable B1049-11 rocket had been in operation since September 2018, it was one of the oldest in SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Block 5 fleet.
The Eutelsat 10B broadband satellite was deployed to orbit approximately 35-minutes after lift off (see video clip below). Eutelsat 10B is designed to provide internet coverage to airplanes and sea-going ships operating across Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the North Atlantic ocean.

Featured Image Source: SpaceX Broadcast

About the Author

Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo

Evelyn Janeidy 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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