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SpaceX Launches Nilesat 301 for Egyptian Operator 

By | June 8, 2022

SpaceX launches Nilesat 301 on June 8, 2022. Screenshot via SpaceX/YouTube

SpaceX launched Nilesat 301 on Wednesday evening, a Geostationary (GEO) communications satellite for Egyptian operator Nilesat. A Falcon 9 rocket took off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on June 8 at 5:04 p.m. 

The Falcon 9 first stage booster used in the mission previously supported the launch of GPS III Space Vehicle 04, GPS III Space Vehicle 05, Inspiration4, Ax-1, and two Starlink missions. The first stage was recovered on a droneship in the Atlantic Ocean. 

SpaceX confirmed successful satellite deployment about 33 minutes into the mission.

Nilesat 301 will replace Nilesat 201, whose lifetime ends in 2028. The satellite will be located at the 7 degrees West orbital slot and provide Ku-band services for the Middle East and North Africa. Designed by Thales Alenia Space on its Spacebus 4000-B2 platform, Nilesat 301 has 38 Ku-band transponders, and 6 Ka-band transponders for broadband use. 

Nilesat said that the new satellite will expand coverage to southern African and Nile River basin countries, in line with deepening Egyptian/African political relations. The satellite will provide broadband internet services in the Arab Republic of Egypt for new projects, infrastructure projects, new urban communities, and oil fields in the eastern Mediterranean.

Nilesat ordered the satellite in late 2019. It was scheduled to launch early in 2022, but faced delays due to the pandemic.