SpaceX is set for a midnight launch to send a communications satellite to geostationary transfer orbit for Intelsat.
The two-hour launch window opens at 12:15 a.m. ET (04:15 UTC). The Falcon 9 will launch on an Easterly trajectory from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
Happy launch day! 🚀 The Launch of Galaxy 37/Horizons-4 is set to lift off tonight! Launch window opens Thursday, August 3rd at 12:15 a.m. The @Maxar– manufactured satellite on a @spacex Falcon 9 rocket. Learn more and follow the countdown: https://t.co/OXBuNWdlVF pic.twitter.com/dxn1wmVTEP
— Intelsat (@INTELSAT) August 2, 2023
Galaxy 37/Horizons-4 was originally meant to launch on the Ariane 6 rocket.
However, due to ongoing delays in the production of that rocket, a customer was once again required to change launch providers to SpaceX.
Built by Maxar, the G-37/H-4 satellite was trucked across the country from Palo Alto, California, to Cape Canaveral, Florida, and arrived in mid-July and prepped for launch. In the last week, the satellite was encapsulated into the flight-proven fairings and attached to the Falcon 9.
The satellite has two payloads aboard, the G-37 C-band payload will provide expanded capacity over North American television media and telecommunications network customers. The H-4 Ku-band payload provides continued coverage for the U.S. government and other customers.
This will be the first launch of the month for SpaceX as they look to follow up on their eight launches in July. There could be as many as at least eight launches again in August, including the launch of Crew-7 to the International Space Station.
The Falcon 9 tasked with the G-37/H-4 mission is Booster 1077. B1077 will be making its 6th launch and landing and has previously supported the launch of Crew-5, CRS-28, one commercial payload, the GPS III-6 payload, and 1 Starlink launch. The payload fairings are also flight-proven. However, it’s unknown how many flights until SpaceX clarifies on their webcast.
Following its portion of the flight, B1077 will land on the droneship ‘Just Read the Instructions’ approximately 638 km downrange, and the fairings will be recovered just over 100 km further downrange.
If, for some reason, SpaceX is unable to launch during the two-hour window, there is another opportunity on Friday, August 4th, at the same time.
Follow the launch with the SpaceX webcast, it should begin roughly 15 minutes before lift-off.