SpaceX Falcon9 set to launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida with EchoStar XXIII

Kicking off Tuesday morning from LC-39A at 1:34 AM EDT SpaceX begins a series 3 launches over the next 8 days from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center with the launch of EchoStar XXIII.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will deliver EchoStar XXIII, a commercial communications satellite for EchoStar Corporation, to a Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO). EchoStar is a premier global provider of satellite and video delivery solutions. SpaceX is targeting launch of EchoStar XXIII from historic Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The two and a half hour launch window opens on Tuesday, March 14, at 1:34 a.m. EDT or 5:34 a.m. UTC. The satellite will be deployed approximately 34 minutes after launch. A backup launch window opens on Thursday, March 16, at 1:35 a.m. EDT or 5:35 a.m. UTC. The EchoStar XXIII mission will be SpaceX’s second launch from LC-39A at Kennedy Space Center. SpaceX will not attempt to land Falcon 9’s first stage after launch due to mission requirements.

Payload

EchoStar XXIII is a highly flexible, Ku-band broadcast satellite services (BSS) satellite with four main reflectors and multiple sub-reflectors supporting multiple mission profiles. Initial commercial deployment of EchoStar XXIII will be at 45° West, and the Satellite End of Life (EOL) Power is 20 kilowatts (kW). EchoStar operates the world’s fourth-largest commercial geosynchronous fleet, with 25 satellites. Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado and conducting business around the globe, EchoStar is a pioneer in secure communications technologies through its EchoStar Satellite Services, EchoStar Technologies and Hughes Network Systems business segments. EchoStar Satellite Services (ESS) is an industry-leading provider of satellite communications solutions, video distribution, data communications and backhaul services to meet the needs of media and broadcast organizations, direct-to-home providers, enterprise customers and government service providers.

EchoStar XXIII
Image Credit: SSL
EchoStar XXIII
Image Credit: SSL

EchoStar XXIII mission patch logo

Launch Facility

Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center, Florida Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center has a long and storied history dating back to the early 1960s. Originally built to support the Apollo program, LC-39A supported the first Saturn V launch (Apollo 4), and many subsequent Apollo missions, including Apollo 11 in July 1969. Beginning in the late 1970s, LC-39A was modified to support Space Shuttle launches, hosting the first and last shuttle missions to orbit in 1981 and 2011 respectively. In 2014, SpaceX signed a 20-year lease with NASA for the use of historic Launch Complex 39A. Since then, the company has made significant upgrades to modernize the pad’s structures and ground systems, while also preserving its important heritage. Extensive modifications to LC-39A have been made to support launches of both commercial and crew missions on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles.

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