SpaceX Launches Turksat 5A Satellite in First Launch of 2021
SpaceX successfully launched the TURKSAT 5A satellite on Thursday evening in its first launch of 2021. A Falcon 9 rocket carrying the satellite took off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Jan. 7 at 9:15 p.m. ET. The payload separated about 33 minutes after liftoff. Turksat reported the first signal was acquired 35 minutes after launch.
The Falcon 9 first stage booster, which was previously used for the launch of GPS III Space Vehicle 04 and two Starlink missions, landed on the Just Read the Instructions droneship.
TURKSAT 5A is a communications satellite in Geostationary Orbit (GEO) built by Airbus. The satellite will sit at 31 degrees East, primarily for data services in Ku-band. TURKSAT 5B, its counterpart also set for launch this year, will bring than 50 Gbps of High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) Ka-band capacity over Turkey, South Africa, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), West Africa, and the Mediterranean and Aegean seas.
“With these two new satellites, Turksat will increase its capabilities for data and provide a wide range of services to its customers in the aviation and maritime markets,” Turksat CEO Cenk Sen said in an interview with Via Satellite in 2020 about the company’s space ambitions.