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SpaceX will be launching GovSat-1 on a flight-proven booster

SpaceX's Falcon 9 vertical at SLC-40 with GovSat-1 prior to yesterday's launch attempt. Photo // SpaceX

Later this afternoon at 4:25pm EST (21:25UTC), SpaceX will launch the GovSat-1 satellite with their Falcon 9 rocket. The Falcon 9 will launch from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) to carry the satellite into a Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO). The first stage of this Falcon 9 previously supported the NROL-76 mission back in May 2017 and SpaceX will not attempt a recovery of this booster. Still equipped with recovery hardware, we can assume they will still attempt a soft landing in the ocean for additional data to study and improve landings in the future.

The GovSat-1 satellite. Photo // OrbitalATK

The GovSat-1 satellite is the first of its kind and has been

manufactured by Orbital ATK and is partnered with SES. The satellite is designed to address governmental and institutional security user needs and enables secure communication links between tactical operations for maritime missions. It is equipped with anti-jamming features and has encrypted telemetry connections. It'll be positioned over the equator supporting communications within Europe, the middle east, and Africa, as well as over the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

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