Live coverage of the countdown and the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. The Falcon 9 rocket will launch two geostationary communications satellites, the Galaxy 33 and the Galaxy 34. Follow us Twitter.
A pair of Intelsat television broadcasting satellites are scheduled for launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 7:20 p.m. EDT (2320 GMT), the third launch from Florida Spaceport in three days.
SpaceX has a 67-minute launch window Thursday night, and a launch weather official predicts a greater than 90% chance of favorable weather for liftoff. The launch window opens a few minutes after sunset, and with clear skies expected, viewers can enjoy dazzling views of Falcon 9 climbing into space at twilight.
Thursday night’s launch will be the third flight of the Falcon 9 rocket in less than a day and a half, after the Falcon 9 launched at noon EDT (1600 GMT) Wednesday from Platform 39A at Kennedy Space Center carrying four crew members to the International Space Station. Then SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California at 7:10 p.m. EDT (4:10 p.m. PT; 2310 GMT) Wednesday with 52 Internet satellites from Starlink, just seven hours later. From the astronaut launch from Florida.
Now, a few miles south of the Kennedy Space Center, SpaceX personnel are preparing to launch a Falcon 9 rocket from Platform 40 aboard an Intelsat commercial flight.
Thursday’s SpaceX mission for Intelsat will also be the third space launch from the Florida Space Coast in three days. The United Launch Alliance’s Atlas 5 rocket launched its series of launches from Cape Canaveral on Tuesday with a commercial mission to deliver satellites to SES.
The Galaxy 33 and 34 satellites embark on 15-year missions to relay C-band TV and video software to media networks and cable providers across North America. They will replace two older Intelsat satellites, the Galaxy 12 and Galaxy 15, which have been in space since 2003 and 2005.
SpaceX’s ground crews rolled a Falcon 9 rocket and its commercial satellite payload to Platform 40 earlier this week, and lifted it vertically into the launch pad at Platform 40 for final checks early Thursday. The 229-foot (70-meter) launch pad will be filled with 1 million pounds of kerosene and liquid oxygen propellant in the last 35 minutes of the countdown.
After the teams verify that the technical and weather parameters are all “green” for the launch, the nine main Merlin 1D engines in the first-stage booster will flash with the help of an ignition fluid called Triethyl Aluminum/Triethylborane, or TEA-TEB. Once the engines come up to full throttle, the hydraulic clamps will unlock to release the Falcon 9 for its climb into space.
The nine main engines will produce 1.7 million pounds of thrust for about two and a half minutes, propelling Intelsat’s Falcon 9, Galaxy 33 and Galaxy 34 communications satellites into the upper atmosphere. Then the boost stage – tail number B1060 in the SpaceX fleet – will close and separate from the upper stage of the Falcon 9.
The booster would extend the fins of the titanium grille and force cold gas to direct itself to enter the tail first into the atmosphere, before re-igniting its engines to burn the throttle and burn the final landing, aiming for a vertical descent to the drone ship A “Lack Gravitas” parked about 400 miles away (about 640 km) east of Cape Canaveral.
A successful landing would mark the completion of the booster’s 14th flight into space, connecting another Falcon 9 booster as SpaceX fleet commanders.
SpaceX has already launched a mission with a booster making its 14th flight into space, but that launch carried a batch of the company’s Starlink internet satellites. Thursday night’s Intelsat mission will be the first time SpaceX has launched a booster with more than 10 flights on a custom flight for a customer.
“It’s the same price if you’re first or fourteen,” said Jean-Luc Froeliger, senior vice president of Space Systems at Intelsat.
SpaceX has qualified Falcon 9’s reusable boosters for at least 15 missions, up from the 10-mission target the company announced when it debuted a Block 5 booster — the latest version of the Falcon 9 — in 2018, the trade magazine Aviation Week & Space reported the technology in June.
The magazine reported that SpaceX has developed boosted components through vibration testing to quadruple the fatigue life of what they would experience during more than 15 flights, giving engineers confidence that the rockets will continue to fly successfully.
“It’s very impressive,” Froeliger, longtime director of the satellite industry, said of SpaceX. “They found a model where their reusable first stage and reusable gifts allow them to launch at a very fast pace, and they have launch complexes here, as well as Vandenberg. So yeah, they’re getting a lot of business.”
Froeliger said SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launcher is the “backbone of the industry” after SpaceX pioneered the recovery and reuse of commercial rockets. The company has launched 45 times so far this year, outperforming its launch competitors.
On Thursday’s mission, a Falcon 9 rocket will fire the upper stage engine twice to inject the Galaxy 33 and 34 spacecraft into a “semi-synchronous” elliptical transfer orbit with a peak or high point, below 22,000 other satellites. Run altitude in geostationary orbit.
The lower-than-normal deployment orbit for a geostationary mission allows the Falcon 9 rocket to lift both satellites on a single mission, and gives the Falcon 9’s reusable first stage enough backup fuel to return to a drone ship landing in the Atlantic.
Galaxy 33 and 34 will separate from the Falcon 9 rocket one by one about 33 minutes and 38 minutes into the mission.
They are stacked on top of each other and wrapped inside a fairing,” Froeliger said. “When separated, the upper satellite is the one that separates first from the lower satellite. Therefore, the Galaxy 33 will separate from the lower satellite by launching a firing device to launch a clip bar that keeps the two satellites together. Once the Galaxy 33 separates, the Galaxy 34 detaches from the launch vehicle. “.
The combined dual satellites weigh about 16,200 pounds (7350 kilograms), according to Northrop Grumman, which made the Galaxy 33 and 34.
The spacecraft will use its hydrazine-fueled engines to raise its orbit to a geostationary altitude. The orbit-raising maneuvers will take about 10 to 11 days, Froeleger said.
The two moons are similar, but not identical. The Galaxy 33 carries the C-band communications payload, as well as Ka-band and Ku-band packets. Galaxy 34 is a C-band relay satellite for video relay services.
The Galaxy 33 will replace the Galaxy 15 communications satellite at an operational location at 133° West longitude. The company said Intelsat lost control of the Galaxy 15 in August after it was likely damaged during a geomagnetic storm. The Galaxy 15 was already scheduled to be replaced before Intelsat lost contact with the spacecraft.
Intelsat plans to deploy the Galaxy 34 satellite at 129 degrees west longitude, where it will replace the Galaxy 12.
The Galaxy 33 and 34 are the first of seven Intelsat satellites planned to renew the company’s fleet of C-band broadcast television satellites, replacing C-band capacity being ported to 5G cellular network services by the Federal Communications Commission. The remaining C-range replacement satellites will be launched on a mix of Falcon 9 and Ariane 5 rockets.
Rocket: Falcon 9 (B1060.14)
Payload: Communication satellites Galaxy 33 and 34
launch site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Space Station, Florida
Lunch date: October 6 2022
launch window: 7:7-8:14pm EST (2307-0014 GMT)
weather forecast: More than 90% probability of acceptable weather
Recovery from reinforcement: Drone ship “Lack of Gravitas”
AZIMUTH LAUNCH: east
target orbit: quasi-synchronous transfer orbit
- T+00:00: take off
- T+01: 12: maximum air pressure (Max-Q)
- T+02:33: First stage main engine cut-off (MECO)
- T+02:37: Separation stage
- T+02:41: Ignite the engine in the second stage
- T+03:25: Get rid of the calm
- T+06:27: Ignition of burning entering the first stage (three engines)
- T+06:48: First stage entry combustion ends
- T+08:15: Second stage engine cut-off (SECO 1)
- T+08:18: 1st stage burner ignition (single engine)
- T+08:40: First stage landing
- T+26:19: Restart the engine in the second stage
- T+27: 06: Engine cut-off in second stage (SECO 2)
- T+32: 57: Galaxy Chapter 33
- T+38: 07: Galaxy Chapter 34
- The 180th launch of the Falcon 9 since 2010
- The 188th launch of the Falcon family since 2006
- 14th launch of Falcon 9 Booster B1060
- Falcon 9 154th launched from Florida’s space coast
- Launch of Falcon 9 No. 99 from the 40 . platform
- Launch number 154 from platform 40
- Flight 121 of the reused Falcon 9 booster
- SpaceX’s second launch of Intelsat
- Falcon 9 46 launch for 2022
- Launching SpaceX 46 in 2022
- The 44th orbital launch attempt launched from Cape Canaveral in 2022
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