SpaceX hasn’t launched a completely new missile since June, when the US Space Force’s GPS III satellite was boosted to a Falcon 9. Since that time, the company has launched several commercial missions and its Starlink satellites on a variety of previously launched rockets, all of which have been successful. .
However, when the company attempted to launch the new Falcon 9 first stage on October 2 – this was for another GPS satellite, called GPS III-04 – the attempt was canceled on the T-2 sec. Later, SpaceX’s Explained by Hans Koenigsman That two of the missile’s nine first stage engines ignited early during a launch attempt in early October, resulting in spontaneous aborting of the engines.
This problem was ultimately attributed to a bit of paint used during the metalworking process that was supposed to be removed prior to the flight but not. The company now believes it has fixed the problem, which is a good thing because the company has three important missions coming for the US government, all of which are slated to fly on new missiles.
The first is the second attempt to launch the GPS III-04 satellite, and it comes Thursday evening. The Falcon 9 rocket, with two Merlin engines replaced, is slated to launch at 6:24 PM EST (23:24 UTC) from the Space Launch Complex-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The satellite, which weighs approximately four tons, will be deployed in a transmission orbit with a peak transfer of about 20,000 km.
Provided this mission is successful and solves the paint problem, SpaceX will continue to launch its second crew, the Dragon spacecraft that carries NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, along with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency mission specialist Sochi Noguchi, to the space station. International. This mission is currently scheduled to take place on November 14th.
Finally, SpaceX has another NASA mission scheduled no later than November 21, to launch the Sentinel 6 Earth observation spacecraft from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Even while investigating the paint issue, SpaceX was able to launch its rockets that proved their worth as those early stages had already been shown to be unaffected by the manufacturing problem. It is also worth noting that both SpaceX and NASA have reached agreements with SpaceX to carry out their missions in the early stages used in future missions.
Provided that the GPS III mission is lifted this evening – Current weather forecast Supports a 60% chance of favorable conditions – SpaceX will try to land in the first stage Of course I still love you Drone. The company launch webcast below should start 15 minutes before the launch window opens.
Image list by Trevor Mahlman on Ars