SpaceX readies Telstar 18 for weekend launch
September 7, 2018
By Chris Forrester
SpaceX carried out a test firing of a Falcon 9 rocket on September 5th in preparation for a planned launch of Canadian satellite operator Telesat.
Telstar 18 Vantage will launch at 11.28 pm (Eastern Time, and weather permitting, 03.28 GMT) from Florida’s Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral.
The satellite is a so-called ‘condominium satellite’ with the slightly larger part of its capacity (57.5 per cent) owned and utilised by APT Satellite of Hong Kong (APSTAR 5). The APSTAR portion will utilise just over 36 of the craft’s total 63 transponders.
SpaceX says it hopes to recover the rocket’s valuable first stage.
The satellite was built by Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, California. It will orbit at 138 degrees East, and potentially serve from India and Pakistan in the West to Hawaii in the East.
The satellite, when in orbit, will replace Telstar 18/Apstar 5 launched back in 2004.