SpaceX is preparing for one more double-duty launch day launching two Falcon 9 rockets on Friday, simply hours aside.
Update: March 17 at 8:58 p.m. ET: The second launch additionally went as deliberate, with Falcon 9 blasting off at 7:38 p.m. ET and profitable deploying its payload.
Update: March 17 at 3:58 p.m. ET: SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launched at 3:26 p.m. ET to ship 52 Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit, and the rocket’s first stage landed on the “Of course I Still Love You,” droneship at 3:36 p.m.
Original article follows.
The first liftoff is scheduled for Friday at 3:26 p.m. ET from Space Launch Complex 4 at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, the place a Falcon 9 will carry the newest batch of SpaceX’s Starlink satellites to orbit. Later on within the day, one other Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to launch at 7:38 p.m. ET from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, delivering SES-18 and SES-19 telecommunications satellites to geosynchronous switch orbit.
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Both launches shall be obtainable to stream dwell by way of SpaceX’s website, and you may as well tune in by way of the feeds under. The dwell feed will start shortly earlier than launch time.
SpaceX’s Starlink mission will loft 52 satellites so as to add to the corporate’s web megaconstellation, with the entire variety of Starlinks in orbit at present at 3,751, in response to stats collected by astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell. SpaceX has already launched eight Starlink missions up to now this yr, one in all which delivered miniature versions of SpaceX’s next generation satellites (V2 Minis) which are designed to be larger and extra environment friendly than the primary technology models.
Friday’s second launch of the day will carry SES-18 and SES-19, two telecommunications satellites constructed by Northrop Grumman and operated by an organization in Luxembourg. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will deploy the satellites to a geosynchronous switch orbit, a trajectory to get the satellites from one orbit to a different. SpaceX last performed back-to-back launches on February 17.
Falcon 9, SpaceX’s medium launch automobile, is partially reusable. The rocket’s first stage booster, powered by 9 Merlin engines, lands vertically on a touchdown pad or droneship shortly after liftoff whereas the second stage delivers the payload. SpaceX has been relying closely on its workhorse rocket, however the firm is admittedly wanting to see its super heavy-lift launch vehicle Starship reach orbit. Powered by 33 Raptor 2 engines, Starship is constructed to hold heavier masses to house, and can have the ability to ship SpaceX’s full-sized next-generation satellites.
Whether or not Starship will quickly fly, SpaceX is gearing up for an motion packed yr as CEO Elon Musk is aiming for 100 launches in 2023. The firm pulled off a whopping 60 launches in 2022, we’ll see if SpaceX has obtained what it takes this yr to satisfy its new purpose.
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