Falcon 9 successfully delivers PAZ satellite as well as Starlink satellites
Photo: Derrick Stamos // Spacecoaster Images
This morning at 6:17am PST (9:17am EST) SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket successfully lifted off from California's West coast carrying the PAZ satellite and 2 smaller satellites. After being delayed 24 hours, the Falcon 9 beautifully launched as it climbed into the California skies, becoming visible to everyone anywhere around the Vandenberg area.
The first stage of this Falcon 9 rocket prevously supported the FORMOSAT-5 mission back in August 2017 from SLC-4E which sucessfully landed on the droneship, "Just Read The Instructions" (JRTI). This time, a soft landing in the ocean was performed and wasn't announced if it was successful or not. The fairings on this mission are new and one of them was equipped with hardware to practice recovery. They have a boat named "Mr. Steven" with a large net on it to catch the fairing as it descends under parachute. This first attempt didn't reach the boat, but successfully landed in the water a few hundred meters away with no apparent damage. Elon stated that they should be able to catch it next time using slightly bigger parachutes with another attempt in a month or so.
Hisdesat's PAZ satellite has an advanced radar instrument designed to be high flexible and is capable to operate in various modes which allows the choice of different image configurations. PAZ will cover the entire globe in just 24 hours which will serve both Government and Commercial needs. The satellite will remain active for about 5.5 years and will orbit the Earth 15 times every day.
The other 2 satellites are apart of SpaceX's planned Starlink Satellite constellation. The satellites are named "Tintin 1" and "Tintin 2"and were deployed and started communicating with ground stations about an hour and a half after PAZ was successfully deployed.