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Geostationary comsats delivered to Florida for SpaceX launches in June – Spaceflight Now


A spacecraft container is unloaded from a transport ship Saturday at Port Canaveral, Florida. Credit score: Stephen Clark / Spaceflight Now

A transport ship delivered the SES 22 and Nilesat 301 geostationary communications satellites to Cape Canaveral over the weekend to arrange for 2 launches on SpaceX rockets in June, finishing a trans-Atlantic journey from France initially deliberate on Russian-owned cargo planes.

The satellites will likely be ready for launches on two Falcon 9 rockets subsequent month. Nilesat 301 is scheduled for liftoff June 10 from pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Area Pressure Station, and SES 22 is about for launch in late June.

Thales Alenia Area, which assembled the satellites in Cannes, France, initially deliberate to ship the Nilesat 301 and SES 22 spacecraft to Cape Canaveral on Russian-owned Antonov An-124 cargo plane. The An-124 airplanes operated by Russian-based Volga-Dnepr Airways have been used for many years throughout the house trade to haul heavy satellites from their factories to their launch websites.

However Russian-owned plane have been banned from U.S. and European Union airspace within the wake of Russia’s army assault on Ukraine. That pressured satellite tv for pc corporations to discover a backup plan for transporting their spacecraft.

Nilesat 301 was prepared to depart its manufacturing unit in France on the finish of March for a scheduled launch on a Falcon 9 rocket on the finish of April. The launch was delayed to permit time for Thales to safe one other technique of transportation for the satellite tv for pc.

Officers settled on transporting Nilesat 301 by ship. SES 22, additionally constructed by Thales, traveled from France to Florida on the identical vessel. The ship carrying Nilesat 301 and SES 22 left a port close to Marseille, France, in late April and arrived at Port Canaveral on Saturday.

Groups unloaded the containers holding the satellites to be trucked inside Cape Canaveral Area Pressure Station for launch preparations. Engineers will take a look at every satellite tv for pc to substantiate they continue to be wholesome after arriving from France, then load maneuvering propellants into the spacecraft. Lastly, the satellites will likely be encapsulated contained in the payload shrouds of their Falcon 9 rockets.

The SES 22 communications satellite tv for pc present process assessments at Thales Alenia Area in France. Credit score: Thales Alenia Area

The launch schedule for SES 22 was not impacted by the change in transport plans, in line with a spokesperson for SES, the Luxembourg firm that owns the satellite tv for pc.

Nilesat 301 will present digital broadband and web connectivity providers for the Egyptian operator Nilesat. SES 22 will present C-band tv and information providers in the US. The satellites will weigh about 3.5 to 4 metric tons as soon as totally fueled for liftoff.

The Nilesat 301 and SES 22 communications satellites will function in geostationary orbit greater than 22,000 miles (practically 36,000 kilometers) over the equator.

SpaceX will launch every satellite tv for pc into an elongated, oval-shaped switch orbit, then the spacecraft will use on-board propulsion to succeed in their ultimate working positions.

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Observe Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.



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