A military communications satellite, sub-contracted by Lockheed Martin to Airbus Defence as offsets for South Korea buying 40 F-35 Jets, launched into space Monday.
This makes South Korea the world’s tenth country to own a communications satellite dedicated for military use.
“On Monday, July 20 at 5:00 p.m., SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launched the ANASIS-II mission from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Falcon 9’s first stage previously launched Crew Dragon to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on board,” SpaceX said in a release.
Following stage separation, SpaceX landed Falcon 9’s first stage on a droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. The ANASIS-II spacecraft deployed about 32 minutes after liftoff.
After separating from the rocket, the satellite successfully communicated with the Toulouse Space Operations Center in the French city of Toulouse at 7:19 p.m, Seoul’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said.
In two weeks, the satellite is expected to reach its orbit of 36,000 km. Following tests conducted by manufacturer Airbus in October, the South Korean military will take over the system.
Based on the Airbus’ Eurostar platform, ANASIS-II will be the 52th Eurostar E3000 satellite launched and will operate in geostationary orbit.