Saturday , September 18 2021

SpaceX fires Falcon 9 booster on pad 39A, aiming for comsat launch Thursday – Spaceflight Now

An exhaust pipe outbreak from the flame crane at the cushion 39A during a burnout of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket Monday evening. Credit: William Harwood / CBS News

SpaceX test-kicked a Falcon 9 rocket on Monday night at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, clearing the way for a launch Thursday with Qatars Es, hail 2 communications satellite, the first day has been lifted from Florida's Space Coast for more than six months .

The rocket's nine Merlin 1D engines in the first stage were ignited at 8:30 p.m. EST Monday (0130 GMT Tuesday) and fired for several seconds as holding constraints, Falcon 9 is landed on cushion 39A, the historical former starting point for many space shuttle solutions and Saturn's 5 moon shots.

SpaceX recovered from an obviously interrupted hotfire attempt Monday morning, charged petroleum and liquid oxygen propellant in launch, reaching the static fire after nightfall Monday.

The two-stage rocket is set to blow up with a previously floated first-time booster recovered on SpaceX's naval vessel in the Atlantic after the July 22 launch of the Telstar 19 VANTAGE communications satellite.

The rocket will be rolled back to the hangar, connected with its commercial satellite payload and returned to the pad 39A in time for a startup window at 03:46. EST (2046 GMT) Thursday.

SpaceX is expected to try another landing of the rocket after Thursday's liftoff, again aboard the drones "Of Course I Still Love You" a few hundred miles east of Cape Canaveral.

The launch level for Thursday's launch is Es & hail 2, built in Japan by Mitsubishi Electric Corp., and is owned by Qatar's national satellite communications company, Es. HailSat. Equipped with Ku-band and Ka-band transponders, Es 2 will provide television broadcasting, broadband and government services to Qatar and neighboring parts of the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.

The spacecraft also carries the first two amateur radio aerials to fly in geostationary lanes, linking hobbyists over a third of the Earth's surface in a single jump from as far west as Brazil and as far east as India.

In a statement earlier this year, Es said that the new satellite has "sophisticated anti-jamming" to limit disturbances and significantly expand the company's offerings currently provided by Es & # 39; hail 1, launched in 2013 on board a Ariane 5-rocket.

The launch on Thursday will mark the 63th flight of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and this year's 18th SpaceX mission.

It will also end a run of night launches at Cape Canaveral, stretching back to May 11, when a Falcon 9 rocket last flew from pad 39A. A series of launches from Cape Canaveral by SpaceX and the United Launch Alliance over the summer and autumn have all occurred during the night.

Email the author.

Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @ StephenClark1.

Source link