SpaceX Launches Turkey's Communications Satellite into Orbit

Pablo Tucker
January 9, 2021

According to, the company is looking to make as many as 40 launches in 2021, from both Cape Canaveral and California's Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Elon Musk's rocket company SpaceX kicks off the new year by sending a new communications satellite into space for the Turkish nation.

New Turkish satellite

Following the launch, SpaceX again landed the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket on a barge, named Just Read the Instructions, floating in the Atlantic Ocean for use in future missions. The 3.4-ton satellite will be deployed in a geostationary transport orbit. This task has a four-hour release window that opens at 8:28 pm ET (01:28 UTC Friday), with the possibility of a backup a day later. The weather forecast Overall is favorable, with a 70 percent chance of "transition" conditions on Thursday.

Both halves of the rocket's fairing - the nose cone that protects the satellite payload as it is carried into space - have also been used in previous missions.

Turksat 5B is expected to be launched later this year.

This mission will use previously flown hardware for the first stage of the rocket and for payload justification. "You're buying a launch service, and we'll get you the best vehicle that we can provide in the time frame you need to fly", Shotwell said You tell clients.

Yesterday's launch marked the first of SpaceX's planned 48 launches for 2021. Amid a pandemic in 2020, SpaceX managed to set a record for total launches, with 26 times.

The Turksat 5A task will be webcast, starting 15 minutes prior to lifting the stream below.

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