Excerpts from Spaceflightnow.com... With the successful launch Wednesday, the Nilesat 301 satellite began a 15-year mission to provide Ultra HD television broadcast services and internet connectivity over Egypt and other parts of Africa and the Middle East. The 229-foot-tall Falcon 9 rocket blasted off at 5:04 p.m. EDT (2104 GMT) Wednesday from pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, beginning a 33-minute mission to place the roughly 9,000-pound (4.1-metric ton) Nilesat 301 spacecraft into an elongated transfer orbit ranging nearly 28,000 miles (45,000 kilometers) above Earth. The Falcon 9 delivered Nilesat 301 to an orbit inclined about 18.6 degrees to the equator, according to U.S. military tracking data. Owned by the Egyptian operator Nilesat, largely controlled by Egypt’s government, the new satellite is destined for an operating position in a circular geostationary orbit, or GEO, more than 22,000 miles (nearly 36,000 kilometers) over the equator at 7 degrees west longitude, where it will provide TV broadcast and internet services. Full story here.
© Dennis Huff