SpaceX goes on to launch new rocket reusable 100th Falcon 9 launch

A Falcon 9 rocket fires its engines Sunday at Cape Canaveral, and is preparing for launch with 60 Starling satellites. Credit: Stephen Clark / Space Travel Now

Sixty Starling Internet satellites are ready to orbit Sunday night from Cape Canaveral on the 100th flight of the SpaceX Falcon 9 missile, and the seventh flight of SpaceX’s reusable “Navy Leader” booster.

The Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to land at Cape Canaveral Air Force Base 40 from EST Sunday (0256: 21 GMT Monday) at 9:56:21 p.m. The mission is set to explode within 34 hours after the previous flight of SpaceX, a Falcon 9 release from California It put into orbit a marine satellite designed to measure sea level rise.

The Falcon 9 launch on Saturday with the Sentinel-6 Michael Freelich marine satellite is SpaceX’s 22nd mission of 2020, breaking the company’s record for most launches performed in a calendar year. Sunday’s flight will extend the record.

While the Balkan 9 launch from California will fly with a factory-new first-level booster, SpaceX launched from Florida on Sunday night using a booster that flew six times earlier. The rocket’s seventh aircraft will set a new record for SpaceX’s rocket reuse program, breaking the mark set by the same booster on its sixth mission in August.

The rocket launched on Sunday by the Telstar 18 Vantage Geostationary Communications satellite from Cape Canaveral is called the P1049. It was re-launched in January 2019 from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California with 10 iridium voice and data relay satellites.

The booster flew back with SpaceX’s first 60 Starling Internet satellites in May 2019, followed by three more Starling missions on January 6, June 3 and August 18.

“This release will turn it into a naval chief,” the SpaceX Saturday booster tweeted.

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The 45th U.S. Air Force’s Meteorological Agency says there is a 60 percent chance of favorable weather for a launch Sunday night in Cape Canaveral. The main weather concerns are cumulus clouds and disturbing weather associated with scattered rainfall over Florida’s Space Coast.

SpaceX tested the rocket’s nine Merlin 1D engines at 4pm on Saturday. The engines ignited for several seconds, with the hold-down clamps holding the rocket firmly on the bat 40, which sent a low rumble on the Cape Canaveral spaceport.

The missile team originally planned to test the rocket early Friday morning before a missile attempt on Saturday night, but stopped testing in the final moments before the SpaceX ignition. After expelling impulses from the rocket, SpaceX filled the Balkans 9 at a training countdown Saturday afternoon, culminating in a successful test shootout at 4 p.m.

SpaceX will reload the rocket with kerosene and liquid oxygen propulsion starting at 9:21 pm EST (0221 GMT) on Sunday. Before issuing the command to ignite nine Merlin 1D engines in T-minus 3 seconds, the automatic countdown will continue with loading, final guidance system checkouts and pressure.

The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) Falcon 9 rocket will unleash controls to move away from the Bat 40 with a push of 1.7 million pounds from its Merlin main engines.

Heading northeast from Cape Canaveral, the rocket’s first stage booster splits the journey to about two and a half minutes, aiming to land 400x (650 km) northeast of SpaceX’s drone “Off course I still love you”. Publishing site.

The T + Plus is scheduled to land the booster on the floating platform for 8 minutes, 44 seconds, just minutes before the Falcon 9’s upper-level engine is to stop. The T + Plus will deploy the top 60 flat-panel Starling satellites in 14 minutes, 44 seconds, according to a mission chronology released by SpaceX.

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The rocket will aim at placing satellites in an elliptical orbit of 132 miles (213 kilometers) to 227 miles (366 kilometers) and with an inclination of 53 degrees to the equator.

The quarter-ton satellites built by SpaceX in Redmond, Washington, are expected to unleash solar panels that generate electricity and begin to orbit their krypton ion propellants primarily at operating heights of 341 miles (550 km). More than 800 other Starling relay stations are the beam for broadband internet signals in the densely populated world.

With the launch on Sunday, SpaceX will launch 95 May Starling satellites into orbit from May 2019.

SpaceX plans to launch an initial set of about 1,500 Starling satellites into orbit 341 miles from Earth. Founded by billionaire Elon Musk, the company has regulatory approval from the Federal Communications Commission to deploy a fleet of 12,000 small Starling broadband stations operating on Ku-band, Ka-band and V-band channels.

There are also preliminary plans for a large fleet of 30,000 additional Starling satellites, but a network of that size has not been approved by the FCC.

According to SpaceX, the Starling network – designed for low-latency Internet service – has entered beta testing in several US states and Canada.

“Last month, SpaceX launched its ‘Better Than Nothing Beta’ testing program,” the company said in a post on its website. “Service calls have been sent to a section of those requesting updates available on Starling.com and to residents of service areas. Two weeks ago, Canada granted Starling regulatory approval, and last week SpaceX provided service to parts of southern Canada. ”

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: Stephen Clark1.

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Cary Douglas

About the Author: Cary Douglas

Wayne Ma is a reporter who covers everything from oil trading to China's biggest conglomerates and technology companies. Originally from Chicago, he is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

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