A Falcon 9 rocket landed on a rare ‘land’ in almost a year and a half as part of SpaceX’s first California launch and was considered by a company manager to be “the beginning of many wonderful things to come”.
00 1200 kg (~ 2600 lb) Sentinel 6A Marine and Earth observation satellite, a new Falcon 9 rocket (including Booster P1063) from SpaceX’s Wandenberg Air Force Base (VAFP) from the SLC-4E Launch Platform: 17am BST (17:17 UTC). In simple terms, SpaceX was able to launch the Falcon 9 on its first attempt at SLC-4E – and with NASA as its customer, after almost 18 months of inactivity.
As usual, the Falcon 9 operated flawlessly, raising the first phase B1063 integrated ~ 120-ton (~ 260,000 lb) to about 75 km (~ 50 mi) to disassemble before closing the secondary, Sentinel 6A spacecraft, and payload ferrying. And flips back to the publishing site. The secondary of the Falcon 9 was ignited and continued into orbit, burning for about six minutes. The Falcon 9B1063 touched down on the LX-4 landing pad of the SpaceX less than a second after the three-engine resale was burning and its central Merlin 1T landed for the third time, after the rocket’s top level was closed in orbit.
45 minutes after that initial ‘secondary cut’ (SECO), the Merlin vacuum dominated, burning for ten seconds around its polar orbit and as close as possible to Sentinel 6A at nominal operating height. The spacecraft, launched from Falcon 9 a few minutes later, reversed the mission, marking the 98th successful launch of the Falcon 9, the 100th overall launch, and the 22nd launch of SpaceX this year – a milestone for the company.
Sentinel 6A is now complete, and SpaceX has one more mission – the Starling V1L15 – scheduled to launch on November 22, disabling the first four launch months of SpaceX. In addition, despite being on the East Coast, the company has at least five launches in December with reasonable launch targets.
However, by 2021, SpaceX may have four or five possible west coast launches, although the challenges posed by the corona virus outbreak could push one or more missions into 2022. One step ahead, set aside business tasks, SpaceX Recently expressed interest The FCC is considering launching polar Starling internet satellite launches soon, suggesting that exclusive Starling launches from Vandenberg could be launched next year if the company gets regulatory approval.
Eventually, SpaceX’s West Coast operations seem to be back on track, with an extraordinary year and a half to stay (at least for now). Stay tuned for updates on the company’s next California release.
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