Who will be the first passenger to go to the moon and back (hopefully)? SpaceX has signed a passenger and that person will be the first to ride the SpaceX BFR Mission to the Moon. The trip has been made by just 24 people in history.
We are about to find out who, when, and why! History in the making.
When? The SpaceX website says 18 Sept 2018 at 01:00 UT / 21:00 ET (on 17 Sept). However if one actually does the math using the little “timer to live” they give on the link, the start times are an hour BEFORE that. It can be confusing, that’s why I will almost always use UTC and the prevailing US Eastern time, I figure people in the states and Canada will easily convert that to what ever timezone they are in.
I am going to err on the side of caution and publish an hour before hand (the 1 am time). The 21:00 ET / 01:00 UT time makes more sense because that is 18:00 PDT.
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)
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.
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.