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Falcon 9 launching Nilesat 301 Mission

Updated: Jun 10, 2022

SpaceX rocket will put an Egyptian communications satellite into geostationary transfer orbit

Egyptian satellite operator Nilesat has partnered with SpaceX to launch the Nilesat-301 geostationary communications satellite on a Falcon 9 rocket. The satellite is based on the Spacebus 4000-B2 chassis and weighs about four tons at launch, offering a lifespan of over 15 years. The Nilesat-301 will help extend the company's supply of Ku-band communications and direct digital broadcast services in two major new regions of North Africa, as well as provide Ka-band connectivity throughout Egypt.

An Falcon 9 1.2 FT on the SLC-40 platform. file image; Ben Cooper

Falcon 9 v1.2 FT Block 5 rocket number B1062-7 will launch the mission, taking off from SLC-40, Cape Canaveral SFS, Florida, USA, at 21:04 UTC (17:04 EDT); this will be the seventh flight of this 'booster'.

The Falcon 9 first stage booster supporting this mission previously supported the launch of GPS III Space Vehicle 04, GPS III Space Vehicle 05, Inspiration4, Ax-1, and two Starlink missions. After stage separation, the first stage will land on the Just Read the Instructions droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean., The weather forecast predicts 60% for June 8, 70% of favorable weather for the 9th.

Nilesat 301 in artistic design. The satellite, to be launched from Nilesat's 7° West slot, is a Thales Alenia Spacebus-4000B2 platform and is expected to weigh 4,100 kg at launch. It has Ku-band and Ka-band transponders for direct transmission of television, radio and data in the Middle East and North Africa.

Ahmed Anis, CEO of The Egyptian Satellite Company Nilesat, announced that the Nilesat 301 will replace the Nilesat 201, whose lifespan ends in 2028. Anis said in press statements that June 8 was set as the satellite launch date after the completion of all test and operational operations following the transfer of the Egyptian satellite from the Thales Company headquarters in France, where it was manufactured, to the launch base in Florida, USA. The launch process will be carried out by SpaceX. Anis indicated that the satellite manufacturing process took about two and a half years, and that it was scheduled to launch earlier in the year, had it not been for the circumstances of COVID-19. And about the technical capabilities of the new satellite, Anis said that the NileSat 301 has 38 transponders compared to 26 transponders on the Nilesat 201. He added that the new satellite would expand coverage. In addition to the areas covered by the current one, the countries of Southern Africa and the Nile River basin will be covered, in order to achieve greater communication