SpaceX to Launch Bus-Sized Satellite on Its 50th Falcon 9 Rocket

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SpaceX to Launch Bus-Sized Satellite on Its 50th Falcon 9 Rocket

The company is the leading distributor of Spanish and Portuguese content on its more than 1,250 television channels and radio stations. That satellite weighs about 6 ton and is the size of a bus, according to Musk, and will be the largest satellite SpaceX has flown yet. In that time, the Falcon placed the satellite in GTO at an altitude of around 37,500 km above Earth.

The 30W-6 satellite will provide coverage in Brazil and the Andes mountain range in South America. It was the fifth launch this year for the Los Angeles-based rocket maker, which in the last 18 months has come to dominate the commercial rocket business, flying far more often than its competitors. The launch - 50th for the Falcon 9, if all goes well - for Spanish company Hispasat was last delayed from February 25.

If SpaceX gets the all clear for launch tomorrow, the satellite delivery will mark the 50th flight mission for the company's signature reusable rocket. Several times throughout the livestream, loud cheers could be heard - the SpaceX team applauded its achievement at each phase of the successful deployment and separation.

During the Falcon Heavy launch, one of the landing pod drones, Of Course I Still Love You, which was scheduled to land the third booster was reported to have sustained damages during the unsuccessful landing attempt.

Rough seas prevented SpaceX from attempting to land the Falcon 9's first-stage booster, which was expected to be destroyed when it splashed down in 26-foot waves.

Following the test phase, the satellite will assume its final orbital position, 30 degrees West, and replace Hispasat 30W-4, in orbit since September 2002. This is also likely to be followed by another Falcon 9 launch in early to mid-April carrying Bangladesh's first communications satellite.

The satellite, built by Space Systems Loral, is equipped with 40 Ku-band transponders, seven Ka beams and 10 C-band transponders.

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