SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from its Florida launch pad. (SpaceX via YouTube)
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launched a Boeing-built, Israeli telecommunications satellite called Amos-17 into geosynchronous transfer orbit today, adding to what’s shaping up as a largesse of liftoffs.
The launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida came at 7:23 p.m. ET (4:23 p.m. PT), toward the end of an 88-minute launch opportunity that was marked by weather concerns. This was a makeup launch for Spacecom, the Israeli satellite operator that lost its Amos-6 spacecraft when a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded on the launch pad in 2016.
Amos-17 is designed to provide increased connectivity to customers in Africa as well as parts of Europe, the Middle East, India and China through voice, video and data services.
The satellite headed for high Earth orbit with a correspondingly high fuel requirement. That meant there wasn’t enough fuel left over to try bringing the first-stage booster back for a controlled recovery, as has become routine for SpaceX Falcon 9 missions.
About half an hour after launch, SpaceX confirmed that Amos-17 was successfully deployed.
“A great day for Falcon 9 and the Amos-17 customer,” launch commentator John Insprucker said.