On the night of January 8, SpaceX successfully made its first launch in 2021. The Falcon 9 rocket launched the Turkish communications satellite Türksat 5A into orbit. As usual, the launch was streamed on SpaceX's YouTube channel.
The rocket with the satellite was launched from the launch pad of the SLC-40 complex at Cape Canaveral. This time, no reusability record was broken – the first stage Falcon 9 Block 5 with the nomenclature number B1060.4 was used, which had previously flown into space three times.
According to the already worked out scheme, two and a half minutes later, the first stage separated, and in the ninth minute after launch, it landed on the Just Read the Instructions offshore platform in the Atlantic Ocean.
The second stage delivered the satellite to the planned geosynchronous transfer orbit. The satellite will reach the final geostationary orbit using its own plasma engines.
Türksat 5A was created by Airbus Defense and Space on the Eurostar E3000EOR platform (a fully electric version of the Eurostar E3000) and will be used by satellite operator Türksat for telecommunications services for broadcasting purposes. The geostationary satellite will cover Turkey, Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.
In 2020, Elon Musk's company conducted 26 successful missions (of which 14 were in the interests of Starlink), setting a new record in the number of rocket launches in one calendar year.