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SpaceX launches Egyptian communications satellite

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket's first stage was reused for the 99th flight, and it was the seventh launch and landing for this B1062 first stage.

SpaceX launched a Egyptian communications satellite (Credit: SpaceX)

May 09, 2022, A two-stage Falcon 9 rocket carrying Nilesat 301, a satellite that will be operated by the Egyptian company Nilesat, launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida Wednesday at 5:04 p.m. EDT (2104 UTC).

The Falcon 9's first stage came back to Earth about 8 minutes and 45 seconds after launch, touching down on the SpaceX drone ship Just Read the Instructions, which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean a few hundred miles off the Florida coast. It was the seventh launch and landing for this Falcon 9 first stage, and the fairing halves were recovered by SpaceX Doug.

The booster previously helped loft two GPS satellites, two batches of SpaceX's Starlink internet spacecraft, and two private crewed missions — the September 2021 Inspiration4 mission to Earth orbit and Ax-1, which in April became the first all-private astronaut mission to go to the International Space Station

The Falcon 9’s upper stage ignited its single Merlin engine two times, first to reach a temporary parking orbit, then to propel Nilesat 301 into an elliptical transfer orbit stretching tens of thousands of km above Earth.

Deployment of Nilesat 301 from the Falcon 9’s upper stage occurred about 33 minutes into the mission at a perigee of 314 km and an Apogee of 44,955 km. (Nilesat 301 will be commissioned in geostationary orbit, which lies about 22,245 miles, or 35,800 kilometers, above Earth.)