SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches into 80th orbital launch this year – Spaceflight Now

Updated: SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches at 12:05 a.m

SpaceX sent 23 Starlink satellites during a mission from Cape Canaveral on the other side of midnight, the first of two Falcon 9 launches planned in less than 48 hours. Liftoff took place from pad 40 at 12:05 a.m. EDT (0505 UTC).

The weather is expected to be near-perfect for the launch of 23 additional satellites for SpaceX’s Starlink internet service. U.S. Space Force meteorologists with the 45th Weather Squadron said Monday there was a greater than 95 percent chance of acceptable weather for the launch.

It was the first launch from Space Launch Complex 40 since SpaceX attached the crew access arm to a recently constructed tower as it modernizes the facility to handle Dragon flights for crew and cargo.

As the Starlink mission prepares to fly, at NASA’s adjacent Kennedy Space Center, SpaceX prepared to launch another Falcon 9 rocket with Cargo Dragon for the space station resupply mission, scheduled to launch Thursday at 8:28 p.m. EDT (0128 UTC). .

On the other side of the country, at Space Force Base Vandenberg, California, another Falcon 9 rocket was being prepared to launch the Transporter 9 mission on Thursday, but it is now delayed by two days until November 11. It will carry a large number of small satellites. On a ride-sharing mission.

A file photo of SpaceX’s Starlink V2 Mini satellites inside the payload processing facility at Cape Canaveral earlier this year. Credit: SpaceX

On Tuesday, the Falcon 9 rocket for the Starlink 6-27 mission, tail number B1073, makes its 11th flight. It entered service in May 2022 carrying a constellation of 53 Starlink V1.5 satellites. In addition to delivering five more Starlink deliveries, it launched the SES-22 satellite, ispace’s HAKUTO-R lunar lander, and the Hispasat Amazonas Nexus satellite. It also helped deliver supplies to the International Space Station aboard the CRS-27 Cargo Dragon flight.

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After launching from Florida’s Space Coast, the Falcon 9 rocket will head southeast, aiming for an orbit inclined at a 43-degree angle to the equator. After burning its nine Merlin 1D engines for about two and a half minutes, the first stage will separate from the second stage and continue its descent to land on the Just Read the Instructions drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean, about 424 miles (682 km) away. ) from the launch site.

The two halves of the rocket’s payload will land on parachutes a little further from the drone ship and will be picked up by the “Bob” support ship, named after Crew Dragon Demo-2 astronaut Bob Behnken. SpaceX recently released a photo of half of the payload, which has made 13 flights, being plucked from the ocean after a recent Starlink launch.

SpaceX’s support ship “Bob” retrieves the Falcon 9’s fairing half from the Atlantic Ocean after the Starlink 6-26 mission on November 3, 2023. SpaceX said it is the 13th flight of this fairing half. Image: SpaceX.

Meanwhile, at the top, the second stage’s single Merlin vacuum engine will fire for about six minutes to reach parking orbit. After moving for about 45 minutes, the second stage engine will be reignited for three seconds to improve the orbit. The 23 V2 Mini Starlink satellites will be deployed approximately one hour and five minutes after launch. SpaceX says it has more than two million subscribers worldwide to its Starlink internet service.

This will be SpaceX’s 80th orbital launch of the year and the 270th flight of a Falcon 9 rocket to date.

Spaceflight Now Live coverage of the launch It will start about an hour before takeoff. You can also see views of the Cape’s launch pads 24/7 Launch Pad Live flow.

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