Home Science SpaceX launches heaviest payload on Falcon 9 rocket – Spaceflight Now

SpaceX launches heaviest payload on Falcon 9 rocket – Spaceflight Now

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In its Dec. 1 order, the FCC said, “Our actions allow SpaceX to begin deploying Gen2 Starlink, which has hitherto been unserved or inadequately serviced by ground systems. It will bring the next generation of satellite broadband to Americans across the country, including those who live and work locally.” Starlink Gen2 constellation approval. “Our actions will also enable global satellite broadband services and help bridge the digital divide on a global scale.

“At the same time, this limited subsidy and related conditions protect other satellites and ground operators from harmful interference, maintain a safe space environment, promote competition, and protect spectrum for future use. and orbital resources,” the FCC wrote.

Specifically, the FCC ordered the first block of 7,500 Starlink Gen2 satellites to be 525, 530, and 525, 530, and SpaceX has been authorized to launch into an orbit of 535 kilometers. The FCC has deferred a decision on SpaceX’s request to operate Starlink Gen2 satellites in high and low orbit.

Like last month’s first Gen2 launch, Thursday’s Starlink 5-2 mission targeted an orbit 530 kilometers (329 miles) high at an inclination of 43 degrees to the equator.

The Starlink 5-2 mission will add 56 more satellites to SpaceX’s Starlink internet network. Credit: Spaceflight Now

SpaceX currently operates approximately 3,400 Starlink satellites in space, with over 3,100 in operation and approximately 200 in operational orbit. According to Jonathan McDowell’s tallya professional tracker of spaceflight activities and an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The first generation Starlink network architecture included satellites flying hundreds of miles above the equator and orbiting at inclinations of 97.6, 70, 53.2 and 53.0 degrees to the equator. Most of SpaceX’s recent Starlink launches have launched satellites into Shell 4 at a 53.2-degree tilt after the company nearly completed its first launch into his 53-degree tilt shell last year.

Shell 5 of the Starlink network is widely believed to be one of the constellation’s polar orbiting layers, with an inclination of 97.6 degrees. However, the names of his first Gen2 missions, Starlink 5-1 and 5-2, seem to suggest that SpaceX has changed the Starlink shell naming scheme.

The SpaceX launch team was positioned inside the launch control center just south of the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station for Thursday’s pre-dawn countdown. We started loading the densified kerosene and liquid oxygen propellant into the Falcon 9 vehicle.

Helium pressurizer also flowed into the rocket during the final 30 minutes of the countdown. In his final seven minutes before takeoff, the Falcon 9’s Merlin Main his engines were thermally tuned for flight by a procedure known as “chilldown”. The Falcon 9’s guidance and range safety systems were also configured for launch.

After takeoff, the Falcon 9 rocket diverted 1.7 million pounds of thrust (produced by nine Merlin engines) and headed southeast across the Atlantic Ocean. SpaceX resumed launches this winter using the southeast corridor from Cape Canaveral instead of a northeast trajectory to take advantage of favorable sea conditions for the landing of the Falcon 9 first stage booster.

Over the summer and fall, SpaceX launched Starlink missions on a route heading northeast from Florida’s Space Coast.

The Falcon 9 rocket exceeded the speed of sound in about one minute and shut down its nine main engines two and a half minutes after takeoff. The booster stage was separated from the Falcon 9’s upper stage, firing pulses from cold gas control thrusters and extending titanium grid fins to help propel the vehicle back into the atmosphere.

About nine minutes after takeoff, two braking burns slowed the rocket down and landed on the drone ship Just Read the Instructions. The reusable booster, designated B1067 in SpaceX’s inventory, completed its ninth space trip on Thursday.

The Falcon 9’s reusable payload fairing was jettisoned during the second stage burn. A recovery vessel was also docked in the Atlantic Ocean to retrieve her two halves of the nosecone, which landed under a parachute.

The landing of the first stage of Thursday’s mission occurred just as the Falcon 9’s second stage engine was shutting down to bring the Starlink satellite into orbit.

The separation of the 56 Starlink spacecraft built by SpaceX in Redmond, Washington, from the Falcon 9 rocket occurred 19 minutes after launch. SpaceX’s ground team waited to confirm the spacecraft’s deployment milestone when the rocket passed within range of an Australian tracking station about an hour after launch.

The Falcon 9’s guidance computer was intended to deploy the satellite into an elliptical orbit with an inclination of 43 degrees to the equator and an altitude of 131 miles to 209 miles (212 x 337 kilometers). After separating from the rocket, the 56 Starlink spacecraft will deploy its solar array, perform an automated start-up procedure, and use ion engines to move into operational orbit.

rocket: Falcon 9 (B1067.9)

payload: 56 Starlink satellites (Starlink 5-2)

Launch site: SLC-40, Space Force Station Cape Canaveral, Florida

release date: January 26, 2023

Launch time: 4:32:20 AM ET (0932:20 GMT)

weather forecast: 70% chance of acceptable weather. Low to moderate risk of upper winds.Low risk of adverse conditions for booster collection

Booster recovery: ‘Read the instructions’ on a drone ship northeast of the Bahamas

Launch Azimuth: southeast

Target trajectory: 131 miles x 209 miles (212 kilometers x 337 kilometers), slope 43.0 degrees

Launch timeline:

  • T+00:00: Liftoff
  • T+01:12: Maximum aerodynamic pressure (Max-Q)
  • T+02:28: 1st Stage Main Engine Cutoff (MECO)
  • T+02:31: Stage Separation
  • T+02:38: Second stage engine ignition
  • T+02:42: Fairing jettison
  • T+06:42: 1st stage approach combustion ignition (3 engines)
  • T+07:00: 1st Stage Entry Burn Cutoff
  • T+08:23: 1st stage landing combustion ignition (one engine)
  • T+08:43: Stage 2 engine shutdown (SECO 1)
  • T+08:44: First stage landing
  • T+18:49: Starlink satellite separation

Mission stats:

  • 199th Falcon 9 rocket launch since 2010
  • 209th Falcon rocket family launch since 2006
  • Ninth launch of Falcon 9 booster B1067
  • 171st Falcon 9 launch from Florida’s Space Coast
  • 111th Falcon 9 launch from Pad 40
  • 166th overall launch from pad 40
  • 141st flight of a repurposed Falcon 9 booster
  • 69th Falcon 9 launch primarily dedicated to Starlink network
  • Fifth Falcon 9 launch in 2023
  • Sixth launch by SpaceX in 2023
  • Fifth orbital launch attempt to be based at Cape Canaveral in 2023

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