SpaceX wins US military approval to launch Falcon boosters

SpaceX wins US military approval to launch Falcon boosters

A United States military contract with SpaceX has been amended to allow future launches in the upcoming Falcon 9 boosters, allowing U.S.

A series of GPS III satellites built by Lockheed Martin, powered by the US Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, have traditionally been launched on new expensive boosters. The first two GPS III spacecraft launched the expensive Falcon 9 and the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas on a rocket.

The SpaceX Falcon 9B1054 Booster, to be spent during its first and only mission, lifted the United States Air Force GPS III SV01 satellite into bit orbit on December 23, 2018. (SpaceX)

An earlier agreement was amended to allow Falcon 9 boosters to attempt landing to launch GPS III missions. In June, a third GPS III vehicle was launched from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on a Falcon 9 from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40). This is the first time a booster with a GPS III vehicle has been recovered.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 Booster B1060 is pictured returning to Port Canaveral after a successful recovery in June 2020. (Richard Angle)

“I am proud of our partnership with SpaceX that has allowed us to successfully modify contracts for upcoming GPS III missions that will save taxpayers 52.7 million and maintain our unprecedented record of success. , ”Dr. Walt Lauderdale, head of the Falcon Systems and Operations Division at the Space and Missile Systems Center, said in a statement issued by the US Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center.

Gavin Shotwell, President and CEO of SpaceX, commented: “We appreciate the efforts made by the US Space Force in its assessment and are pleased to see the benefits of this technology. Our extensive experience with reuse has allowed SpaceX to constantly upgrade its fleet and save significant valuable tax dollars on these launches. “

A new amendment to the GPS III launch services contract allows the Falcon 9 boosters not only to be retrieved, but also launched on previous flight boosters. However, this amendment will only apply to future launches of GPS III SV05 and SV06 satellites.

The SpaceX Falcon was mailed on June 9, 2020, incorporating payload firing inside the GPS III SV03. (SpaceX)

The launch of the GPS III satellite series on the reusable Falcon 9s was originally planned to begin in 2021 during the second phase of the launch services contract. The current agreement with the US Space Force will result in the launch of the GPS III SV06 satellite in 2021. Contracts for the National Security Space Launch Program Phase 2 for the remaining four GPS III satellites have not yet been awarded and are being bid for by both SpaceX and ULA Will be imposed.

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Coming The GPS III SV04 satellite is currently scheduled to launch on Tuesday, September 29 The brand new Falcon 9 booster (B1062) from SLC-40 will be used. The latest Falcon 9 tested a healthy static fire of its nine Marlin 1D engines early Friday morning, September 25th. An encapsulated payload was captured later that evening by a Twitter user Golibeer 88 While converting from its nearest processing facility to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to match the Falcon 9 booster.

Should all nominees proceed between now and the nominal start date? Is. The 45th Season Squadron predicts that the weather will be mostly favorable with 70% of the acceptable conditions at the time of onset. If 24 hours of recycling is required, the weather improves slightly to 80%.

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Raven Weber

About the author: Raven Weber

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