Miami, United States, Jul 20 (efe-epa).- A Falcon 9 rocket of the private aerospace manufacturer, SpaceX, took off on Monday from Cape Canaveral, Florida in the United State to put into orbit the Anasis 2 communications satellite, built by Airbus Defense and Space for the South Korean armed forces.
The rocket took off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 5:30 pm. Four minutes after launch, the first separation took place.
Half an hour later, Anasis – South Korea’s first dedicated military communications satellite – separated from the rocket and subsequently successfully communicated with the Toulouse Space Operations Center in France, according to a statement by the South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration.
Just eight minutes after the launch, the Falcon 9 rocket landed on SpaceX’s landing drone ship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean “Just Read the Instructions,” which will return it to the mainland.
The launch window was between 5:30 pm and 8:55 pm on Monday.
The Anasis 2 was built at the Airbus factory in Toulouse and transported to Cape Canaveral last month aboard an Antonov An-124 cargo aircraft.
The satellite is based on the Airbus Eurostar E3000 satellite platform and will “provide secured communications over wide coverage,” according to Airbus.
The spacecraft will be launched into an elliptical, egg-shaped transfer orbit tens of thousands of kilometers from the Earth.
The propulsion system on board the satellite will boost it into a circular, geostationary orbit at an altitude of more than 22,000 miles (about 36,000 kilometers) above the equator, where it will remain in a fixed location, rotating around the Earth at the same speed as the planet.
According to DAPA, in October, once Airbus has successfully tested its functions, the South Korean armed forces will begin controlling Anasis 2, which will replace the dual-use Anasis 1 launched in 2006 to provide commercial and military services, with the aim of improving the flow of intelligence on North Korea.
South Korea bought this satellite formerly known as KMilSatCom 1 to offset its purchase of F-35A fighter aircrafts from Lockheed Martin, a company that outsourced the manufacture of the device to Airbus.
Until now, the South Korean military has relied on international or private satellites for its communications.
This is SpaceX’s 12th launch aboard a Falcon 9 rocket this year. EFE-EPA