The Thaicom-6 commercial communications satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station late Monday afternoon. In a press release Monday night Orbital Sciences, builder of the satellite, said all subsystems on the satellite would be tested in orbit for several weeks. If all goes well, the satellite will then be turned over to the satellite operations staff at Thaicom. Orbital Sciences says the satellite carries eight transponders which will provide services for Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. Other transponders on the satellite will also service customers in Southeast Asia and in Africa. The company says the Thaicom-6 satellite is based on “…Orbital’s highly successful GEOStar spacecraft platform.”
The U.S. Air Force’s 45th Space Wing provided Eastern range support of the launch at Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Monday. In a press release following the launch, Air Force Col. Robert Pavelko, vice commander of the 45th Space Wing, said, “This is a tremendous way to open 2014, and we look forward to an exciting launch manifest in the year ahead.” The Air Force added that the launch at 5:06 p.m. Monday was the second commercial launch by SpaceX, using their Falcon 9 launch vehicle in a v1.1 configuration from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and the second payload launch by SpaceX to geostationary orbit.
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