Telstar 18 VANTAGE (Falcon 9)
10 September 2018
Space Launch Complex 40
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the Telstar 18 VANTAGE satellite to a Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO) from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 12:45 a.m. on 10 September 2018. Following stage separation, the Falcon 9's first stage landed on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

Telstar 18 VANTAGE is the third high throughput satellite (HTS) in Telesat's global fleet and the first with coverage over the Asia Pacific region. Built by SSL, a Maxar Technologies Company, Telstar 18 VANTAGE will replace and expand on the capabilities of Telesat's Telstar 18 satellite through its extensive C-band capacity over Asia, its Ku-band HTS spots over Indonesia and Malaysia, and its five additional Ku-band beams. Located at 138 degrees East, the coverage of Telesat's newest satellite reaches across Asia all the way to Hawaii - in both C and Ku-bands - enabling direct connectivity between any point in Asia and the Americas. Its Ku-band payloads of HTS spot beams and focused regional beams will provide customers operating in Southeast Asia, Mongolia, Australia & New Zealand, and the North Pacific Ocean with greater choice and flexibility to serve today's bandwidth intensive applications.

Telstar 18 VANTAGE is expected to enter commercial service in the Fall of 2018 after it has completed orbit raising and on-orbit testing. The satellite has a 15-year design life.

The launch was delayed from its original 11:28 p.m. launch time on 9 September 2018 by lightning and rain in the vicinity of the launch pad.
A bright beam of white light shines skyward from Launch Complex 40 as lightning flashes in the clouds.
As the weather cleared permission was given to begin fueling the rocket. A great cloud of gaseous oxygen vents away from the pad in this view. The top of the Falcon 9 rocket can be seen against the Transporter Erector.
Of all the places to be; our view was cutoff shortly after liftoff by an unfavorably placed cloud.
Telstar 18 VANTAGE (Falcon 9)
12 September 2018
Return of first stage to
Port Canaveral
The SpaceX booster landing support ship Go Quest heads into Port Canaveral as a barge heads out to assist in the return of the Of Course I Still Love You droneship around 10:00 a.m. on 12 September 2018.
The droneship with the Falcon 9 first stage booster atop the landing pad enters the Port Canaveral channel assisted by a small fleet of tugboats.
A view of the Falcon 9's cluster of Merlin engines and the deployed landing legs.
Two men in the foreground give some sense of scale to the rocket.
Besides the Go Quest, the Go Navigator and the Go Searcher also support the Falcon 9 droneship landings.
The tugboats maneuver the droneship up along the dock where a crane will lift the rocket off the droneship in preparation of returning it to the SpaceX hanger for refurbishment and future reflight.
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