SpaceX 100th Falcon 9 launch – new rocket re-use record being set on Spaceflight Now

The Falcon 9 rocket fired its engines at Cape Canaveral on Sunday in preparation for launch along with 60 other Starlink satellites. Credit: Stephen Clark / Spaceflight Now

Seven more Starlink Internet satellites are set to take off from Cape Canaveral on Sunday night on the 100th flight of the SpaceX Falcon 9 launcher, and the seventh flight of SpaceX’s reusable “Fleet Leader” booster.

The Falcon 9 Rocket East is scheduled to launch on Sunday (0256: 21 GMT Monday) from Pap 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 9:56:21 p.m. Mission SpaceX is set to explode less than 34 hours after its last flight. Falcon 9 launches from California An oceanographic satellite designed to measure sea level rise.

The launch of the Falcon 9 on Saturday with the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich Oceanographic Satellite was SpaceX’s 22nd 2020 mission, breaking the company’s record for most openings in a calendar year. Sunday’s flight will boost records.

Although the Falcon 9 from California began with the latest first-stage booster from the factory, the launch of SpaceX from Florida on Sunday night will use a booster that has flown six times before. The rocket’s seventh flight will set a new record for SpaceX’s rocket reuse program, breaking a mark set by the same booster on its sixth mission in August.

The rocket designed for Sunday’s launch – known as the B1049 – was launched in September 2018 with the launch of the Telstar 18 VANTAGE geostationary satellite from Cape Canaveral. It relaunched in January 2019 from Wendenberg Air Force Base in California with 10 Iridium Voice and Data Relay Satellites.

Booster flew again in May 2019 with the first set of SpaceX’s 60 Starlink Internet Satellites, followed by three more Starlink missions on January 6, June 3 and August 18.

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“This startup will make it a fleet leader,” SpaceX tweeted to Booster on Saturday.

Alan Musk, founder and CEO of SpainX, says the latest version of the Falcon 9 Booster can fly 10 times without major repairs, and up to 100 times with periodic overhauls.

According to the 45th Weather Squadron of the US Space Force, there is a 60 percent chance of weather at Cape Canaveral on Sunday night. The main weather concern is the Kamlus clouds and disturbing weather that are associated with scattered showers along Florida’s coastline.

SpaceX tested the rocket’s nine Marlin 1D engines at 4pm EST (2100 GMT) on Saturday. The engines ignited for several seconds while the hole-down clamps fixed the rocket to Pad 40, sending a small disturbance across Cape Canaveral spaceport.

The launch team planned to fire the rocket early Friday morning before a possible launch attempt on Saturday night, but SpaceX ended the test at the last minute before ignition. After removing the impetus from the rocket, SpaceX refilled the Falcon 9 during a practice countdown on Saturday afternoon, culminating in a successful 4 a.m. shootout.

SpaceX will load kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants into the rocket again on Sunday evening, starting at 9:21 a.m. EST (0221 GMT). The automatic countdown will be preceded by pro-plant loading, final guidance system checkouts, and pressure, before the T-minus 3 seconds to issue an order to ignite the nine Merlin 1D engines.

Restrictions will open the 229-foot-long (70-meter) Falcon 9 rocket at 40 feet with a force of 1.7 million pounds from its main Marlin engines.

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Heading northeast from Cape Canaveral, the first phase of the rocket will take about two and a half minutes on a booster mission, with the spacecraft’s drone C-Course about “I still love you” about 400 minutes to the northeast. Landing will be targeted. Launch site.

Moments before the Falcon 9’s upper-stage engine shuts down, the Booster T + Plus will land on the floating platform in 8 minutes, 44 seconds. According to a mission timeline released by SpaceX, the upper phase will launch 60 flat-panel Starlink satellites of T + Plus at 14 minutes, 44 seconds.

The rocket aims to place satellites between 132 miles (213 kilometers) and 227 miles (366 kilometers) in an elliptical reservoir, with a tilt of 53 degrees in the equatorial region.

The quarter-ton satellite built by SpaceX in Redmond, Washington, is expected to be fitted with solar arrays generating electricity and will begin to extend its krypton ion thrusters to increase its operational speed to 341 miles (550 kilometers). Where they will join. More than 800 Starlink relay stations to beam broadband internet signals in the most populous world.

With the launch on Sunday, SpaceX has deployed 955 Starlink satellites in orbit since May 2019.

SpaceX plans to operate an initial block of about 1,500 Starlink satellites at an altitude of 341 miles from Earth. Founded by billionaire Alan Musk, the company has received regular approval from the Federal Communications Commission to set up a fleet of 12,000 small Starlink broadband stations operating in co-band, co-band and V-band frequencies.

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

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SpaceX says the Starlink network – designed for low-latency Internet service – has entered beta testing in several US states and Canada.

“Last month, SpaceX launched its” Nothing Better Beta “test program,” the company said in a post on its website. “Service invitations were sent to a section of people who requested availability updates on Starlink.com and who live in service areas. A few weeks ago, Canada gave regulatory approval to Starlink, and last week SpaceX began service in parts of southern Canada. ”

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Raven Weber

About the author: Raven Weber

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