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Friday, September 30, 2022
HomeSpaceUnhealthy climate scrubs Falcon 9 launch for fourth consecutive night time –...

Unhealthy climate scrubs Falcon 9 launch for fourth consecutive night time – Spaceflight Now

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Dwell protection of the countdown and launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Area Launch Complicated 40 at Cape Canaveral Area Pressure 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

Unhealthy climate stored SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket on the bottom once more Friday night time at Cape Canaveral, the fourth night time in a row climate circumstances prevented liftoff. SpaceX will attempt once more at 8:43 p.m. EDT (0043 GMT Sunday) to launch the following 54 Starlink web satellites, however there’s only a 30% probability of favorable climate at the moment.

The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) Falcon 9 rocket is awaiting liftoff with 54 extra Starlink web satellites.

The SpaceX launch workforce referred to 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 Area Coast all through the night. Comparable climate circumstances 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 inside T-minus 60 seconds.

This flight, designated Starlink 4-34, will mark SpaceX’s forty second Falcon 9 launch up to now in 2022. It will likely be the fortieth area launch try total from Florida’s Area Coast this yr, 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 complete 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 six Falcon 9 missions on SpaceX’s schedule this month. Tom Ochinero, SpaceX’s vp of economic gross sales, stated Tuesday on the World Satellite tv for pc Enterprise Week convention in Paris that the corporate goals to finish greater than 60 launches this yr, with the objective of 100 rocket missions in 2023, persevering with a dramatic uptick in SpaceX’s launch cadence.

The upper launch charge 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 up to now this yr.

SpaceX started flying 54 Starlink satellites on devoted Falcon 9 flights final month, yet one more spacecraft than the corporate sometimes launched on earlier missions. SpaceX has experimented with completely 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 Area Pressure 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 fireplace 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 area Saturday night time. The booster beforehand launched two astronaut missions towards the Worldwide Area 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 Saturday night time, SpaceX could have launched 3,347 Starlink web satellites, together with prototypes and take a look at 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 middle simply south of Cape Canaveral Area Pressure 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 automobile at T-minus 35 minutes.

Helium pressurant will even move into the rocket within the final half-hour of the countdown. Within the remaining seven minutes earlier than liftoff, the Falcon 9’s Merlin important engines shall be thermally conditioned for flight by means of a process often called “chilldown.” The Falcon 9’s steering and vary security system will even 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 pace of sound in about one minute, then shut down its 9 important engines two-and-a-half minutes after liftoff. The booster stage will launch from the Falcon 9’s higher stage, then fireplace pulses from chilly fuel management thrusters and prolong titanium grid fins to assist steer the automobile again into the ambiance.

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 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 Saturday’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 predicted 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 by means of automated activation steps, then use krypton-fueled ion engines to maneuver into their operational orbit.

The Falcon 9’s steering laptop 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 succeed in a round orbit 335 miles (540 kilometers) above Earth.

The Starlink satellites will fly in considered one of 5 orbital “shells” at completely different inclinations for SpaceX’s world web community. After reaching their operational orbit, the satellites will enter business service and start beaming broadband alerts to customers, who should purchase 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 Area Pressure Station, Florida

LAUNCH DATE: Sept. 17, 2022

LAUNCH TIME: 8:43 p.m. EDT (0043 GMT on Sept. 18)

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

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


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


  • T+00:00: Liftoff
  • T+01:12: Most aerodynamic stress (Max-Q)
  • T+02:27: First stage important 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


  • 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 Area Coast
  • 97th Falcon 9 launch from pad 40
  • 152nd launch total 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 primarily based out of Cape Canaveral in 2022

Electronic mail the creator.

Comply with Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.

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