Last day were in fact busy in space – CNSA, SpaceX and JAXA launched payloads for both commercial and government operators.
A Chinese Long March 2D rocket with Venezuelan Remote Sensing Satellite 2, “Antonio José de Sucre”, lifted off from the Launch Pad 603 at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center at 4:13 UTC on October 9, 2017. Rocket managed to deliver satellite perfectly to orbit during its first after ten months break. To remind last time Long March 2D with SuperView satellites was launched on December 26, 2016 from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center. Rocket suffered for technical issues after start, which caused preliminary MECO and as consequence deploying two satellites below planned orbit.
This time everything during 14 minute flight went fine and Long March 2D delivered to SSO 645 km orbit weighing 1000 kg remote sensing spacecraft. Based on CAST-2000 satellite bus VRSS-2 will provide remote sensing data for environmental monitoring, resource management, urban planning and security monitoring. Satellite will be operated by Space Agency of Venezuela (ABAE).
Second launch took place from Japan. H-IIA rocket lifted off from Tanegashima Space Center at 22:01 UTC with weighing 4t Michibiki-4 Quasi-Zenith Satellite System navigational satellite. Mission objective was delivering satellite to highly elliptical transfer orbit and successful deployment. MELCO H-IIA performed again without any problems. Rocket supported with two SRB boosters was launched from Launch Pad 1 at the sea coast of Tanegashima Island. After launch and setting course to south over Pacific. After 29 minutes of flight, second stage of the H-IIA (202) rocket deployed Michibiki-4 on GTO orbit with following parameters 250 km by 36140 km, inclined 31.9 degrees. Satellite begun successfully its planned for another 15 years mission.
Ultimate launch on October 9 from America took place in California at Vandenberg Air Force Base around noon. SpaceX Falcon-9 FT rocket delivered to orbit another ten communications satellites for Iridium, satellite mobile phone operator. Launch took place at 12:37 UTC from SLC-4E launch site at Vandenberg AFS. Rocket performed flawlessly including landing of the first stage of the Falcon-9 on drone ship in the Pacific Ocean near Vandenberg. Ten satellites manufactured by Thales Alenia Space and weighing 860 kg each, were deployed on 780 km × 780 km orbit after lasting 70 minutes of flight. SpaceX announced about successful landing of the first booster at 12:44 UTC.