A Falcon 9 rocket completed a textbook launch of Turksat 5A from Cape Canaveral on January 7th.
Turksat 5A will use its electric thrusters to lift itself to its designated geostationary orbit, a process which will take around 4 months. The satellite carries 42 transponders and occupy an orbital slot at 31 degrees East.
Speaking ahead of the launch, Turkish Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Omer Fatih Sayan called Turksat 5A “one of the newest generation satellites that give us the opportunity to improve our capability in space.”
“With Turksat 5A, we would be firstly protecting our orbital rights and we would be providing commercial services by means of broadcasting and communications, especially internet services with the Ku-band to the rural areas,” he told reporters in front of SpaceX’s mission control center in Cape Canaveral.
As for Elon Musk’s SpaceX, the company successfully brought the first stage of the rocket back to its floating barge ‘Just Read The Instructions’. This was the 71st successful return of a Falcon’s first stage.
Another flight is likely on January 14th when 10 of its own Starlink rockets will be placed into polar orbits. Observers expect another ‘full’ Starlink launch in January when its normal compliment of 60 satellites will be carried.