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Monday, September 26, 2022
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SpaceX gearing up for an additional Falcon 9 launch try tonight – Spaceflight Now

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Dwell protection of the countdown and launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from House Launch Complicated 40 at Cape Canaveral House Drive Station in Florida. The Starlink 4-34 mission will launch SpaceX’s subsequent batch of 54 Starlink broadband satellites. Comply with us on Twitter.

SFN Dwell

SpaceX’s subsequent Falcon 9 rocket launch is now set for 8:18 p.m. EDT Sunday (0018 GMT Monday) to ship 54 extra Starlink web satellites to orbit. The mission has been delayed 5 days as a result of thunderstorms across the launch base.

The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) Falcon 9 rocket is ready to launch SpaceX’s Starlink 4-34 mission. The climate outlook for Sunday night time requires a 40% probability of acceptable situations for liftoff.

The SpaceX launch workforce known as off Tuesday night time’s Falcon 9 countdown simply earlier than beginning to load propellants into the Falcon 9 rocket. Lightning flashes lit up the sky over Florida’s House Coast all through the night. Comparable climate situations Wednesday night time pressured officers to name one other scrub earlier than tanking, and SpaceX stopped the countdown at about T-minus 30 seconds Thursday night time as climate remained “no go” for launch.

It was an identical story Friday night time as SpaceX loaded propellants into the Falcon 9, however stopped the countdown simply within T-minus 60 seconds. Groups initially focused one other launch try Saturday, however SpaceX introduced Saturday night the mission could be delayed to Sunday night time.

This flight will mark SpaceX’s forty second Falcon 9 launch to date in 2022. Will probably be the fortieth house launch try general from Florida’s House Coast this 12 months, together with launches by SpaceX, United Launch Alliance, and Astra.

When it takes off, the Falcon 9 rocket’s higher stage will launch the satellites over the North Atlantic Ocean about quarter-hour after liftoff. The 54 Starlink satellites will whole about 36,800 kilos, or 16.7 metric tons, in payload mass.

The Starlink 4-34 mission would be the third of as many as 5 Falcon 9 missions on SpaceX’s schedule this month. Tom Ochinero, SpaceX’s vp of business gross sales, mentioned Tuesday on the World Satellite tv for pc Enterprise Week convention in Paris that the corporate goals to finish greater than 60 launches this 12 months, with the objective of 100 rocket missions in 2023, persevering with a dramatic uptick in SpaceX’s launch cadence.

The upper launch price has been aided by shorter turnarounds between missions at launch pads in Florida and California, and SpaceX’s reuse of Falcon 9 boosters and payload fairings. Launches carrying satellites for SpaceX’s personal Starlink web community, just like the mission Friday night time, have accounted for about two-thirds of the corporate’s Falcon 9 flights to date this 12 months.

SpaceX started flying 54 Starlink satellites on devoted Falcon 9 flights final month, yet one more spacecraft than the corporate usually launched on earlier missions. SpaceX has experimented with totally different engine throttle settings and different minor modifications to stretch the Falcon 9’s efficiency.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket stands on pad 40 at Cape Canaveral House Drive Station forward of liftoff on the Starlink 4-34 mission. Credit score: Stephen Clark / Spaceflight Now

SpaceX test-fired the Falcon 9 booster for the Starlink 4-34 mission on the launch pad Sept. 11. A static hearth try Sept. 10 was aborted as a robust thunderstorm swept throughout the Cape Canaveral spaceport.

The booster is designated B1067 in SpaceX’s stock of reusable rockets, and goes for its sixth flight to house Sunday night time. The booster beforehand launched two astronaut missions towards the Worldwide House Station, plus two resupply flights to the station. It additionally launched Turkey’s Turksat 5B communications satellite tv for pc.

With the Starlink 4-34 mission Sunday night time, SpaceX may have launched 3,347 Starlink web satellites, together with prototypes and check models not in service. The launch Saturday would be the 61st SpaceX mission primarily devoted to hauling Starlink web satellites into orbit.

Stationed inside a launch management heart simply south of Cape Canaveral House Drive Station, SpaceX’s launch workforce will start loading super-chilled, densified kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants into the 229-foot-tall (70-meter) Falcon 9 car at T-minus 35 minutes.

Helium pressurant may also circulate into the rocket within the final half-hour of the countdown. Within the closing seven minutes earlier than liftoff, the Falcon 9’s Merlin foremost engines will likely be thermally conditioned for flight via a process generally known as “chilldown.” The Falcon 9’s steering and vary security system may also be configured for launch.

After liftoff, the Falcon 9 rocket will vector its 1.7 million kilos of thrust — produced by 9 Merlin engines — to steer northeast over the Atlantic Ocean.

The rocket will exceed the velocity of sound in about one minute, then shut down its 9 foremost engines two-and-a-half minutes after liftoff. The booster stage will launch from the Falcon 9’s higher stage, then hearth pulses from chilly gasoline management thrusters and prolong titanium grid fins to assist steer the car again into the environment.

Two braking burns will sluggish the rocket for touchdown on the drone ship “Simply Learn the Directions” round 400 miles (650 kilometers) downrange roughly eight-and-a-half minutes after liftoff.

Credit score: Spaceflight Now

The Falcon 9’s reusable payload fairing will jettison durning the second stage burn. A restoration ship can also be on station within the Atlantic to retrieve the 2 halves of the nostril cone after they splash down underneath parachutes.

Touchdown of the primary stage on Sunday’s mission will happen moments after the Falcon 9’s second stage engine cuts off to ship the Starlink satellites into orbit. Separation of the 54 Starlink spacecraft, constructed by SpaceX in Redmond, Washington, from the Falcon 9 rocket is anticipated at T+plus quarter-hour, 21 seconds.

Retention rods will launch from the Starlink payload stack, permitting the flat-packed satellites to fly free from the Falcon 9’s higher stage in orbit. The 54 spacecraft will unfurl photo voltaic arrays and run via automated activation steps, then use krypton-fueled ion engines to maneuver into their operational orbit.

The Falcon 9’s steering pc aimed deploy the satellites into an elliptical orbit at an inclination of 53.2 levels to the equator. The satellites will use on-board propulsion to do the remainder of the work to achieve a round orbit 335 miles (540 kilometers) above Earth.

The Starlink satellites will fly in considered one of 5 orbital “shells” at totally different inclinations for SpaceX’s international web community. After reaching their operational orbit, the satellites will enter business service and start beaming broadband alerts to customers, who should buy Starlink service and hook up with the community with a SpaceX-supplied floor terminal.

ROCKET: Falcon 9 (B1067.6)

PAYLOAD: 54 Starlink satellites (Starlink 4-34)

LAUNCH SITE: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral House Drive Station, Florida

LAUNCH DATE: Sept. 18, 2022

LAUNCH TIME: 8:18 p.m. EDT (0018 GMT on Sept. 19)

WEATHER FORECAST: 40% probability of acceptable climate; Low danger of higher degree winds; Low danger of unfavorable situations for booster restoration

BOOSTER RECOVERY: “Simply Learn the Directions” drone ship east of Charleston, South Carolina

LAUNCH AZIMUTH: Northeast

TARGET ORBIT: 144 miles by 208 miles (232 kilometers by 336 kilometers), 53.2 levels inclination

LAUNCH TIMELINE:

  • T+00:00: Liftoff
  • T+01:12: Most aerodynamic strain (Max-Q)
  • T+02:27: First stage foremost engine cutoff (MECO)
  • T+02:31: Stage separation
  • T+02:36: Second stage engine ignition
  • T+02:42: Fairing jettison
  • T+06:48: First stage entry burn ignition (three engines)
  • T+07:07: First stage entry burn cutoff
  • T+08:26: First stage touchdown burn ignition (one engine)
  • T+08:40: Second stage engine cutoff (SECO 1)
  • T+08:47: First stage touchdown
  • T+15:21: Starlink satellite tv for pc separation

MISSION STATS:

  • 176th launch of a Falcon 9 rocket since 2010
  • 184th launch of Falcon rocket household since 2006
  • sixth launch of Falcon 9 booster B1067
  • 151st Falcon 9 launch from Florida’s House Coast
  • 97th Falcon 9 launch from pad 40
  • 152nd launch general from pad 40
  • 118th flight of a reused Falcon 9 booster
  • 61st devoted Falcon 9 launch with Starlink satellites
  • forty second Falcon 9 launch of 2022
  • forty second launch by SpaceX in 2022
  • fortieth orbital launch try based mostly out of Cape Canaveral in 2022

Electronic mail the creator.

Comply with Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.

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