Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) was celebrating another launch success as its Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket successfully launched the Thaicom 6 communications satellite into a 90,000 x 295km, inclined at 22.5 degrees, supersynchronous transfer orbit. The launch took place from SLC-40 pad at the Cape Canveral launch site in Florida at 2206 GMT on 6 January 2014.
Thaicom 6 will now use its own engine to remove the orbital inclnation, raise the perigee and lower the apogee into an approximately 36,000km circular orbit over the equator. In this Geostataionary Earth Orbit (GEO) Thaicom 6 will operate over its 15 year design life. Thaicom 6 was built by Orbital Sciences Corp for Thaicom PLC and uses the GEOSTAR-2 bus design.
SpaceX and its Falcon 9V1.1 broke into the GEO commercial market late last year with the successful launch of SES-8 in December.
Falcon 9 v1.1. successfully launches Thaicom-6. Courtesy: SpaceX