SpaceX Falcon 9 launches Ovzon-3 comsat on its way to eventual GEO operating position

by | Jan 4, 2024 | Launches, Satellites, Seradata News, SpaceX

SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9v1.2FT Block 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA at 2304 GMT on 3 January. On board was the small communications satellite Ovzon-3, which will be operated by the Swedish/US firm Ovzon over 59.7 degrees East in geostationary Earth orbit (GEO). The satellite will raise its perigee and lower its apogee from its supersynchronous transfer orbit (47365 x 273 km at 26.8 degrees inclination) to this GEO position over the next few months using its own electric propulsion.

Built by Maxar’s SSL division using the Maxar 500 bus design, the Ku-band regional communications satellite, which offers beams to Europe and Africa, weighed in at only 1,800 kg at launch. With the satellite being relatively small and light, there was enough performance on board the rocket for the reusable B1076 Falcon 9 first stage (on its 10th flight) to be able to turn back to land at Cape Canaveral on Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1).

The Ovzon 3 spacecraft was originally going to be launched by a Falcon Heavy. This order was cancelled and the satellite was transferred to an Ariane 5 ECA+ before being again moved to SpaceX for a Falcon 9 launch.

Artist’s impression of Ovzon-3 in orbit. Courtesy: Ovzon

 

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