[Via Satellite 04-28-2015] SpaceX successfully launched the TurkmenÄlem52E/MonacoSat satellite to Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO) on April 27 aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. The Thales Alenia Space-built satellite reached GTO in approximately 32 minutes, where orbit raising will bring the satellite to its final orbital location at 52 degrees east.
The launch included firsts for both SpaceX and Thales Alenia Space. For SpaceX, the launch marked the company’s fastest consecutive launch, having conducted its previous mission (CRS-6) for NASA 13 days prior. The launch is SpaceX’s fifth mission in four months. For Thales Alenia Space, the TurkmenÄlem52E/MonacoSat is the first satellite built using additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing. The satellite sports a 3-D printed T&C antenna horn mounting strut. Additionally, the satellite is Thales Alenia Space’s first to use “flexible” Traveling Wave Tube Amplifiers (TWTA), for adjustable output power.
Thales Alenia Space built the TurkmenÄlem52E/MonacoSat satellite for the Turkmenistan Ministry of Communications. Monaco-based satellite operator Space System International-Monaco (SSI) will operate the satellite. Based on the Spacebus 4000 C2 platform, the TurkmenÄlem52E/MonacoSat satellite covers Europe, Central Asia up to the Chinese border and the majority of Africa, and has a design life exceeding 16 years.
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