Watch SpaceX blast a 5-tonne Intelsat satellite to orbit

SpaceX successfully launched a 5-metric-ton Intelsat communications satellite to orbit on Thursday, August 3.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the satellite blasted off from the launchpad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 1 a.m. (10 p.m. Wednesday).

The mission marked the sixth flight for the first-stage Falcon 9 booster, which previously launched Crew-5, GPS III-6, Inmarsat I6-F2, CRS-28, and one Starlink mission.

As usual, SpaceX used multiple cameras to live stream the key parts of the flight, including the launch, booster landing, and satellite deployment.

SpaceX’s workhorse Falcon 9 rocket lit up the Florida sky as it left the launchpad in the early hours of Thursday local time.


— SpaceX (@SpaceX) August 3, 2023

Around eight minutes after launch, and having done its job, the first stage descended to a droneship waiting in the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Florida. The clip below shows the vehicle’s landing legs deploying just prior to reaching the droneship. The booster performed a perfect touchdown, enabling it to be used for another mission once it’s been cleaned up and refurbished. The landing marked SpaceX’s 213th landing of an orbital-class rocket.

Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the Just Read the Instructions droneship

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) August 3, 2023

Around 33 minutes after launch, the satellite successfully deployed.

Deployment of @Intelsat Galaxy 37/Horizons 4 confirmed

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) August 3, 2023

SpaceX also shared a set of dramatic images showing the start of the mission.

Falcon 9 launches the @Intelsat G-37 mission to orbit from Florida

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) August 3, 2023

The launch of the Maxar-built Galaxy 37/Horizons-4 satellite will provide North American capacity for television media and telecommunication network customers, Intelsat said.

The original plan was to deploy the satellite using an Arianespace Ariane 6 rocket, but continuing delays in the rocket’s production prompted Intelsat to switch to SpaceX to get the job done.

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