Category Archives: SpaceX

Falcon 9 Block 5 to Fly Today

The Space X Falcon 9 “Block 5” is getting ready to take flight later today.

The Falcon 9 “Block 5” is the latest iteration of rockets  by Space X.  The Block 5 is an updated configuration of the Falcon 9 that will allow for easier re-usability.  It also aims to prevent an occurrence of an explosion like the 2016 explosion at Cape Canaveral, reportedly it involves the helium pressurization system.

Space X will be launching a French built satellite for Bangladesh called Bangabandhu Satellite-1.  This will Bangladesh’s first communications satellite.

Launch Date: 10 May 2018

Launch time is 20:12 UT / 16:12 ET (window opening)

Spaceport:  Kennedy Space Center

A live link will be up here at 19:50 / 15:50 ET

Image: Space X

 

Dragon’s Cargo

The Dragon cargo-spaceship is carrying about 2,630 kg (5,8000 lb) of pressurized mass and will return about 1,770 kg (3,900 lb) of various materials.

One of the really cool (to me) items being sent up is called The Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor (ASIM). This monitor surveys severe thunderstorms in Earth’s atmosphere and upper-atmospheric lightning, or transient luminous events, from its perch on the exterior of the European Space Agency (ESA) Columbus module. These include sprites, flashes caused by electrical break-down in the mesosphere; the blue jet, a discharge from cloud tops upward into the stratosphere; and ELVES, concentric rings of emissions caused by an electromagnetic pulse in the ionosphere.

Elves and Sprites

The launch is scheduled for 20:30 UTC / 04:30 ET. Coverage begins around 20:15 UTC / 04:15 ET.  I say “about” because the start time is dependent on Space X.  The link will be up so you might have to check back.

What if the launch does not happen for whatever reason, there is a back up date /time in 24 hours later.

Ready for More Launches?

There are THREE launches in the next couple of days!

We should have coverage for two of them.

SpaceX will be launching a Spanish satellite called Hispasat tomorrow morning or tonight depending on where you live.

Launch time is 05:33 UTC so join me with a cup of tea for this one. In the US the time will be 00:33 EST but on the US west coast it’s only 21:33 PST so tea might be out, but grab whatever and have a watch.

Those in Florida around the space coast or Cape Canaveral probably can watch live out the window.

Coverage should start 15 minutes prior to launch time. See you there.

As always replays will be shown here shortly after launch.

Also tomorrow there will be a Indian launch of a moon lander. Not sure about coverage.

Then on 21 March Expedition 55 will launch to the International Space Station from Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft to the International Space Station, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

NASA astronaut A.J. (Drew) Feustel and Ricky Arnold and cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev of the Russian space agency Roscosmos are scheduled to launch at 13:44.

The Soyuz SATELLITE launch scheduled for tomorrow has been moved to Friday at 16:37 UTC.

Views of Starman

UPDATE: For those wondering about that center section that was to land on the drone ship – the effort was not successful but that’s a minor detail really in an otherwise spectacular mission.

I am looking for ephemeris for Starman and the Tesla Roadster.

Live views of Starman from SpaceX. Starman is the SpaceX spacesuit and is situated behind the wheel of the Tesla Roadster currently flying along in outer space after being put there by the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket.

SpaceX Falcon Heavy Launch – Replay


 

WOW! Great launch and as always great video from SpaceX. Congratulations!

Launch time 18:30 UTC / 13:30 EST from Kennedy Space Center.

Updated Launch:  20:30 UTC / 15:30 EST, 20:45 UTC  / 15:45 EST delay due to upper level winds.  Everything else looks fine.

The payload? Not just dead weight as is usually the case, no this time the payload is the CEO and Lead Designer Elon Musk’s midnight-cherry Tesla Roadster.

Heavy’s second stage will attempt to place the Roadster into a precessing Earth-Mars elliptical orbit around the sun.

The Falcon Heavy is reported to have twice the payload capacity of the Delta IV at one-third the cost.

If the launch does not go off today the alternate date is tomorrow, same time.

This is NOT a Test

This is a static fire test of the Falcon 9 Heavy a week and a few days ago (see earlier post).

What is coming up will not be a test.  Yes!  The maiden voyage of the Falcon 9 Heavy will occur as soon as tomorrow (06 Feb 2018) from launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

From what I know launch time is set for 18:30 UTC / 13:30 EST tomorrow.  If the launch does not go off as planned tomorrow, the next few days are planned for, each with a three-hour window each day.

The Falcon 9 Heavy is the most powerful rocket to take flight in a number of years.  The 70 meter tall (229 feet), 12 meter wide (40 feet) rocket will produce a thrust of 2.3 million kg / 5 million pounds to get into orbit.

Check back for a live link about 15 minutes before launch time.

Falcon 9 Heavy Testing

A very brief test of the SpaceX Falcon 9 Heavy, the very first test.

Short duration? Yes. Impressive? Most definitely!

Part of the SoaceX description: Its first stage is composed of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores whose 27 Merlin engines together generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft. Only the Saturn V moon rocket, last flown in 1973, delivered more payload to orbit. Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space and restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the Moon or Mars.