Dragon mission swapped with Echostar-23 !

Yesterday SpaceX said that the first Falcon 9 rocket which will be launched from will deliver to space Dragon cargo spacecraft instead Echostar-23 communications satellite.  Launch will be performed from rented two years ago Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on 15th February 2017

It will be first launch from Florida since explosion of Falcon-9 FT with Amos-6 communications satellite on 1 September 2016. Dragon CRS-10 will deliver to International Space Station 2029 kg of pressurized cargo and 977 kg inside unpressurized compartment.

For Echostar-23 it is another delay. Previously it was already postponed last year to January 2017 and later to early February 2017. It was done mainly due the explosion of Falcon-9 on 1 September and general delay of all flights planned by SpaceX which caused also delay with modernization Launch Pad 39A. SpaceX due the putting all the resources into investigation after disaster on 1 September, was forced to push back in time opening of their new launch pad. Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space center is historical place, which served previously for launching Space Shuttles. It was rented by SpaceX in April 2014 for 20 years. It needed modifications like establishing horizontal integration facility, new instrumentation and control systems, new fueling systems and new pumping. Now it seems, that first launch from new pad is reserved for Spacex cargo mission to ISS - customers will probably wait until further launches.

Echostar-23 communications satellite was designed to cover with range of new TV services provided by Dish Network Corporation South America especially  Brazil. Satellite was manufactured by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L). Its design was based on SSL-1300 bus - satellite weight is 5500 kg, operational life is planned for 15 years on GEo orbit. Satellite is powered with two deployable solar arrays and onboard battery - these are providing power for communications payload based on Ku band transponders.

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