A SpaceX Falcon 9 lifted off a sixth time to launch Hispasat’s Amazonas Nexus satellite to orbit on February 6. The veteran rocket launched at 8:32 p.m. ET from Space Launch Complex-40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, after a delay due to unfavorable weather along the coast. Hispasat is a company headquartered in Spain that aims to connect trans-Atlantic airline passengers with advanced telephony service, including internet. Hipasat also provides 1,250 television channels to more than 30 million homes around the world. The Amazonas Nexus satellite is also equipped with a U.S. Space Force “high-bandwidth protected communications transponder” which was integrated as part of the military's Pathfinder 2 mission. This detail was revealed by the military after the satellite was deployed to orbit.
Liftoff! pic.twitter.com/XMKaD3cv1j— SpaceX (@SpaceX) February 7, 2023
Approximately 8-minutes after liftoff, the Falcon 9 first-stage booster that was reused on this mission was recovered with a landing on the ‘Just Read the Instructions’ autonomous droneship which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. It marked SpaceX’s 170th recovery of a previously-flown rocket and the 143rd time it reused one. Recovering rockets to reuse is a great innovation that significantly reduces the cost of spaceflight. SpaceX is currently the only company on Earth capable of such reusability. The Falcon 9 first-stage booster that supported this mission is identified as B1073-6 which previously launched five missions, including: the SES-22 satellite, ispace’s HAKUTO-R Mission-1, and three Starlink missions.
Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the Just Read the Instructions droneship pic.twitter.com/pULkVL0dYi— SpaceX (@SpaceX) February 7, 2023
Hispasat’s Amazonas Nexus communications satellite was deployed to orbit around 35-minutes after liftoff, video below. The 10,000 pound (4,500 kilogram) satellite will operate in a geostationary transfer orbit. In the next 6 months, the satellite will use its onboard thrusters to navigate into an altitude of around 22,000 miles (36,000 kilometers) above Earth's surface over the equator. Company officials state that Amazonas Nexus will be operational by July to begin providing service for the next 15 years. Hispasat operates seven commercial communications satellites in geosynchronous orbit that provide coverage over some regions in the Americas, Europe, and North Africa. The company says it aims to enable internet access to remote places such as Brazil’s Amazon rainforest and Greenland.
Deployment of @Hispasat’s Amazonas Nexus confirmed pic.twitter.com/jx7uE82UmL— SpaceX (@SpaceX) February 7, 2023
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Featured Image Source: SpaceX
About the Author
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.