Falcon 9 successfully launches Koreasat 5A


7 Nov 2012
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SpaceX has launched the Koreasat-5A communications satellite for South Korea’s KT SAT on Monday, with a Falcon 9 lifting off from the Kennedy Space Center to carry the satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit. Launch occurred on time at 15:34 local time (19:34 UTC), at the opening of a two-hour, 24-minute window. Landing of the first stage was also successful, albeit resulting in a “toasty” engine section.

The three-and-a-half-tonne (7,700 lb) KoreaSat-5A satellite was built by Thales Alenia Space and is based on the SpaceBus-4000B2 platform. Equipped with thirty-six Ku-band transponders, the satellite will support broadcasting and internet services in Korea, Southeast Asia and the Middle East from geostationary orbit at a longitude of 113 degrees East. Koreasat-5A is expected to operate for at least fifteen years.

Koreasat-5A is one of two which KT SAT ordered from Thales in May 2014. The second satellite, Koreasat-7, was successfully deployed by an Ariane 5 rocket earlier this year. Koreasat-5A will replace the Koreasat-5 spacecraft, which was deployed in 2006, flying aboard a Zenit-3SL rocket from Sea Launch’s Odyssey launch platform in the Pacific.

Koreasat-5, another Thales-built satellite, was designed for a fifteen-year lifespan but is being replaced ahead of schedule because of a problem with its solar arrays. In 2013 the drive mechanism, which rotates the solar arrays to face the sun – maximising their exposure to sunlight – stopped operating correctly, reducing the satellite’s available power.

SpaceX Falcon 9 successfully launches Koreasat 5A | NASASpaceFlight.com
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