Sixty Starlink Internet satellites are set to orbit Sunday night from Cape Canaveral on the 100th flight of the SpaceX Falcon 9 launcher, the seventh aircraft of the SpaceX Express’ reusable “Fleet Leader” booster.
The Falcon 9 rocket will be launched from Pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on EST Sunday (0256: 21 GMT Monday) at 9:56:21 p.m. The mission is set to detonate within 34 hours after the previous flight of SpaceX, a Falcon 9 launch from California An oceanographic satellite designed to measure elevation above sea level was launched into orbit.
The Falcon 9 launch with the Sentinel-6 Michael Freelich oceanographic satellite was the 22nd mission of SpaceX 2020, surpassing the record for most launches in a calendar year. Sunday’s flight record will be expanded.
While the Falcon 9 launch factory from California will fly with the innovative first stage booster, it will use a booster that flew six times before the launch of the SpaceX from Florida on Sunday night. 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 set is known as the B1049, launching the Telstar 18 VANTAGE Geostationary Communications satellite from Cape Canaveral on Sunday. In January 2019, it was re-launched with 10 iridium voice and data relay satellites from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
The booster flew again in May 2019 with the first 60 Starlink Internet satellites of SpaceX, followed by three more Starlink missions on January 6, June 3 and August 18.
“This launch will make it the leader of the Navy,” SpaceX tweeted Booster on Saturday.
Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX, said the latest version of the Falcon 9 booster can fly 10 times without major upgrades and possibly 100 times with periodic overhauls.
Cape Canaveral has a 60 percent chance of launching Sunday night, according to the U.S. Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron. The main weather concerns are cumulus clouds and unseasonable weather associated with scattered rain off the coast of Florida.
Nine Merlin 1D engines of the rocket were tested by SpaceX at 4pm EST (2100 GMT) on Saturday. The engines ignited for several seconds, sending a low rumble across the Cape Canaveral space port.
The launch team had originally planned to test the rocket early on Friday ahead of the launch attempt, but stopped the SpaceX test at the last minute before ignition. After the propellant was drained from the rocket, the SpaceX Falcon 9 filled up on the practice countdown on Saturday afternoon, culminating in a successful test firing at 4 p.m.
SpaceX will launch kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants back into the rocket, starting at 9:21 pm on Sunday. EST (0221 GMT). Nine Merlin 1D engines will continue the automatic countdown through propellant loading, final guidance system check outs, and pressure before issuing the T-minus 3-second ignition command.
The 229-foot (70 m) Falcon 9 rocket will open the pads from the Pad 40 to the 1.7 million pound Merlin main engines.
The first stage booster of the rocket, which travels northeast from Cape Canaveral, will be separated into a two – and – a – half minute mission, with the launch site of the SpaceX drone “off course I still love you” landing 400 miles (650 km) northeast.
Just minutes before the Falcon 9’s upper stage engine shuts down, the T + Plus booster lands on the floating platform in 8 minutes 44 seconds. According to the mission timeline released by SpaceX, the T + Plus will deploy 60 flat-panel Starlink satellites in 14 minutes and 44 seconds in the upper phase.
The rocket aims to place the satellites in an elliptical orbit of 132 miles (213 km) to 227 miles (366 km), with a slope of 53 degrees to the equator.
The quarter-ton satellites, built by SpaceX in Redmond, Washington, will develop power-generating solar arrays and launch their crypton ion thrusters to orbit at an altitude of 341 miles (550 km). Beam broadband Internet signals from over 800 other Starlink relay stations around the world.
With its launch on Sunday, SpaceX will launch 955 Starlink satellites into orbit from May 2019.
SpaceXEx plans to launch the initial block of 1,500 Starlink satellites into orbit 341 miles above the Earth. The company, founded by billionaire Elon Musk, has the regulatory approval of the Federal Communications Commission to set up up to 12,000 small Starlink broadband stations operating on Ku-band, Ka-band and V-band frequencies.
Preliminary plans are also in place for a larger fleet of 30,000 additional Starlink satellites, but the FCCC has not approved a network of that size.
Designed for low-latency Internet service, the StarLink network has entered the beta testing phase in multiple US states and Canada, according to SpaceXEx.
“Last month, SpaceX launched a” Better Danning Beta “test program,” the company said in a post on its website. “Service invitations have been sent to Starlink.com to a group of people who have requested availability updates and live in serviceable areas. Two weeks ago, Canada approved Starlink Regulatory, and last week SpaceX began service to parts of southern Canada. ”
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