SpaceX successfully launched the Es’hail-2 satellite for its Qatar customers on November 15th. A few minutes after launch, SpaceX landed the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage onto its floating barge.
The two-stage Falcon 9 lifted off at 3:46 p.m. EST (20.46 GMT) from its 39A launch pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. About 32 minutes later, the rocket successfully deployed its payload, the Es’hail-2 communications satellite, into an elliptical geostationary transfer orbit.
SpaceX is enjoying a spectacular run of success both in terms of its launch business and recovery of its valuable first stages.
Es’hail-2 spacecraft was built by Mitsubishi Electric Corp. and will be operated by Qatar-based company Es’hailSat. Es’hail-2 “features multi-transponder Ka-band capacity, providing business and government sectors with secure communications across the Middle East and North Africa region. The spacecraft’s multi-mission architecture will enable Es’hailSat to respond to demand for the fastest-growing applications in the Middle East and North Africa, including content transfer, broadcast distribution, enterprise communications and government services,” said a statement.