A SpaceX Falcon 9 vehicle lifted off flawlessly at 2046 UTC on November 15 from Cape Canaveral, carrying the first Amateur Radio payload destined for geostationary orbit. About 32 minutes after launch, SpaceX reports the spacecraft was successfully deployed into a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).
Positioned at 25.5° E, the satellite will carry an Amateur Radio S-band and X-band payload capable of linking radio amateurs from Brazil to Thailand, although it’s unlikely that Es’hail-2 will be accessible from North America with typical Amateur Radio satellite gear.
The recent subject of an AMSAT-UK Colloquium presentation, Es’hail-2 carries two Phase 4 (P4-A) non-inverting Amateur Radio transponders operating in a 2.4 GHz up/10.45 GHz down configuration. This offers a 250 kHz bandwidth linear transponder intended for conventional analog operations, plus an 8 MHz bandwidth transponder for experimental digital modulation schemes and DVB amateur television.
The Qatar Amateur Radio Society and Qatar Satellite Company are cooperating on the Amateur Radio project, and AMSAT-DL is providing technical support. Es’hail-2 also carries commercial payloads. Following the launch, SpaceX landed its reusable Falcon 9 vehicle on a drone vessel in the Atlantic.