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A Saudi Arabian satellite launches on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket
Badr 8 will provide television broadcast services, video relay, and data services across central Africa, Europe, and the Middle East in C-band and Ku-band. Launch image by C&J Images.
A Saudi Arabian satellite launches on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket
by Jennifer Briggs
Space Coast FL (SPX) May 27, 2023

A nearly 10,000-pound (4.5-metric-ton) Airbus-built Badr 8 communications satellite for the Riyadh-based company Arabsat lifted off from Space Launch Complex-40 (SLC-40), Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (CCSFS), Florida, at 12:30 a.m. EDT (0430 UTC) on May 27, Saturday.

The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) Falcon 9 rocket headed east from Cape Canaveral to deliver Arabsat's Badr 8 (also referred to as 7B) into an elliptical geostationary transfer orbit, based on Airbus Defense and Space's Eurostar Neo platform, Badr 8 will provide television broadcast services, video relay, and data services across central Africa, Europe, and the Middle East in C-band and Ku-band.

After launch, Badr 8 will maneuver into a circular geostationary orbit more than 22,000 miles (nearly 36,000 kilometers) over the equator for the next four-to-five months, adjusting to reach its operational orbit at 26 degrees east longitude.

An Airbus optical communications payload, TELEO, hitched a ride on Badr 8. According to Airbus, TELEO will allow communications across high-capacity analog optical feeder links. This form of data transfer should be extremely resistant to jamming.

The Falcon 9 first-stage booster utilized in this mission was B1062, which has previously launched and landed 13 times. Among those previous launches were seven Starlink missions, GPS III SV04 and SV05 missions, Inspiration4, Axiom-1, Nilesat-301, and OneWeb 17.

Eight and a half minutes after liftoff, B1062 landed on SpaceX's autonomous drone ship "Just Read The Instructions" (JRTI), parked in the Atlantic Ocean. The Arabsat Badr 8 mission marks the 14th flight to space and back for B1062.

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