Spaceflight Insider

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket orbits the Hotbird 13F satellite

A long exposure streak of SpaceX's Falcon 9 launching Hotbird 13F into space. Credit: SpaceX

A long exposure streak of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launching Hotbird 13F into space. Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket lit up the night sky in Florida to send the Hotbird 13F communications satellite into orbit for Eutelsat.

Liftoff took place at 1:22 a.m. EDT (05:22 UTC) Oct. 15, 2022, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. This was the first of two Hotbird satellites the company plans to launch for the European company this year. The first Hotbird launched in March 1995.

Hotbird 13F is an all-electric satellite constructed around Airbus’ Eurostar Neo design with updates in bandwidth, payload capacity, power efficiency and enhanced thermal control systems for broadcasting services.

The second Hotbird satellite, Hotbird 13G, is expected to launch later this year, possibly in November. Both satellites were built to handle increased signal jamming over Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, including Iran, which recently intentionally jammed their current design.

Initially, Arianespace was set to launch Hotbird 13F, but delays and funding forced Eutelsat to make the switch to SpaceX.

Flying in support of today’s mission is Falcon 9 first stage core B1069. It was on its third flight and autonomously landed on SpaceX’s drone ship “Just Read the Instructions” downrange in the Atlantic Ocean.

This flight also represents the 100th SpaceX liftoff from Space Launch Complex 40.

Hotbird 13F launches. Credit: SpaceX

Hotbird 13F launches. Credit: SpaceX

Video courtesy of SpaceX


Theresa Cross grew up on the Space Coast. It’s only natural that she would develop a passion for anything “Space” and its exploration. During these formative years, she also discovered that she possessed a talent and love for defining the unique quirks and intricacies that exist in mankind, nature, and machines. Hailing from a family of photographers—including her father and her son, Theresa herself started documenting her world through pictures at a very early age. As an adult, she now exhibits an innate photographic ability to combine what appeals to her heart and her love of technology to deliver a diversified approach to her work and artistic presentations. Theresa has a background in water chemistry, fluid dynamics, and industrial utility.

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