The Hispasat 30W-6 launched successfully on March 6, 2018, after a short delay last month. Repairs to the Falcon-9 involved the fairing pressurization system. The need for repair shut down the planned February 24, 2018 mission. SpaceX requested a March 1st launch, however, the U.S. Air Force denied the request due to a conflicting launch. The launch of the GOES-S satellite for weather purposes was already scheduled, presenting too tight of a time frame to include the Hispasat Satellite. A mere 17 hour difference would have separated the two. This is not optimal, considering there could be delays.
The Hispasat 30W-6, however, fit in perfectly on March 6th, and went off with no major issues. Unstable weather did keep SpaceX from trying to land the first stage boosters. The drone ship that was scheduled to retrieve them was unable to go out to sea in the poor conditions. The name of this vessel is the “Of Course I Still Love You.”. This marks the 50th launch using Falcon-9 rockets.
The Hispasat 30W-6 is the most sizeable satellite perried by a Falcon-9 so far. It weighs in at six tons. This particular Falcon-9 mission took off from Florida at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 12:33 a.m. It only took a short time to reach geostationary transfer orbit. 33 minutes after launch, it was in place. This is the third satellite sent off by Hispasat in a 15 month time span. Previous launches include the Amazonas-5 and the Hispasat 36W-1. All three satellites were launched using different equipment from around the world. The Amazonas-5 took off in September of 2017 and used a Russian Proton. This was accomplished with International launch services. Arianespace of Europe provided a Soyuz rocket for the launch of the Hispasat 36W-1 in January of 2017.
The Hispasat 30W-6 is helping to solve future problems by bringing experimental equipment with it. Tyro Aerospace and Das Photonics are technology providers in Spain. These two companies want to find a way to lessen the loads and size of future satellites. The first experiment has been installed on Hispasat 30W-6 by these companies. This equipment consists of a Ka-band receiver module. The difference between this and earlier models is that the microwave dating system has been replaced with optical mechanisms that participate in data routing. A successful run with this equipment could mean that later satellites may be able to travel much lighter, with less equipment necessary to complete certain telecommunications tasks. Less equipment usually translates to monetary savings for the launching companies, as well as telecommunications customers.
Hispasat 30W-6 carried a heavier load than the previous Hispasat 30W-4 that it is meant to replace. The load has been increased from 28 Ku-band transponders to 40 Ku-band transponders and some additional cargo. 10 C-band six Ka-band transponders were also added to the load. All of this equipment assists the public with various telecommunications services, such as broadband and television. The range for these services is widespread, covering many areas in Northern Africa, the Americas, and Europe. This most recent version of the Hispasat carries a lot of responsibility.