EDITOR’S NOTE: Watch our reside streaming video of the Falcon 9 countdown and launch from Cape Canaveral with the primary two O3b mPOWER broadband satellites for SES.
SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket at 5:48 p.m. EST (2221 GMT) Friday from Cape Canaveral on a mission to spice up two high-power broadband satellites for SES’s O3b mPOWER community towards a singular equatorial orbit some 5,000 miles above Earth.
Flying due east from Florida’s House Coast, the Falcon 9 rocket will place the primary two O3b mPOWER satellites into orbit to hitch SES’s 20 first-generation O3b web satellites launched from 2013 via 2019.
Forecasters from the U.S. House Drive’s forty fifth Climate Squadron predict a larger than 90% chance of favorable climate for liftoff, with solely a slight likelihood of thick clouds which may create a menace of lightning. The climate staff expects good situations within the Atlantic Ocean for touchdown of the Falcon 9’s first stage booster on SpaceX’s drone ship “A Shortfall of Gravitas” about 420 miles (670 kilometers) east of Cape Canaveral.
Throughout Friday’s countdown, the Falcon 9 launcher shall be crammed with one million kilos of kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants within the ultimate 35 minutes earlier than liftoff.
After groups confirm technical and climate parameters are all “inexperienced” for launch, the 9 Merlin 1D predominant engines on the primary stage booster will flash to life with the assistance of an ignition fluid referred to as triethylaluminum/triethylborane, or TEA-TEB. As soon as the engines ramp as much as full throttle, hydraulic clamps will open to launch the Falcon 9 for its climb into house.
The 9 predominant engines will produce 1.7 million kilos of thrust for about two-and-a-half minutes, propelling the Falcon 9 and and the 2 O3b mPOWER satellite tv for pc into the higher ambiance. Then the booster stage — tail quantity B1067 in SpaceX’s fleet — will shut down and separate from the Falcon 9’s higher stage.
The booster will lengthen titanium grid fins and pulse chilly fuel thrusters to orient itself for a tail-first entry again into the ambiance, earlier than reigniting its engines for a braking burn and a ultimate touchdown burn, concentrating on a vertical descent to the drone ship holding place within the Atlantic Ocean.
A profitable rocket touchdown on the drone ship will mark the completion of the booster’s eighth flight to house. The booster debuted June 3, 2021, with the launch of a Dragon cargo mission to the Worldwide House Station, and launched two astronaut crews into house on NASA’s Crew-3 and Crew-4 missions. It has additionally launched the Turksat 5B communications satellite tv for pc, one other house station resupply mission, and a batch of Starlink web satellites. Most lately, the booster launched and landed Nov. 13 on a mission with Eutelsat’s Hotbird 13G tv broadcasting satellite tv for pc.
For the O3b mission, the Falcon 9’s higher stage will hearth its engine thrice to ship the 2 Boeing-built broadband satellites into the next orbit, nearer to their ultimate working altitude about 5,000 miles (8,000 kilometers) over the equator.
The primary O3b mPOWER satellite tv for pc will deploy from the rocket 1 hour and 53 minutes into the mission, adopted separation of the second spacecraft 2 hours after liftoff. The satellites will unfurl their photo voltaic panels and change on xenon-fueled thrusters to maneuver into their operational orbit, a course of that can take till about April, in keeping with SES, the Luxembourg-based firm that owns the O3b community.
The 2 O3b spacecraft, when mixed, weigh roughly 9,000 kilos (4,100 kilograms) in launch configuration, a Boeing official informed Spaceflight Now.
The O3b mPOWER satellites will beam high-speed web companies all over the world, offering “fiber-like” connectivity to customers between 50 levels north and south latitude, in keeping with SES, the Luxembourg-based operator that owns the O3b fleet.
SES already has 20 O3b satellites in Medium Earth Orbit. They flew to house on Russian Soyuz rockets below a launch companies contract with Arianepace.
The brand new O3b mPOWER satellites will function in the same Medium Earth Orbit, or MEO, over the equator as the unique O3b satellites.
“SES’s O3b mPOWER system is a real gamechanger and can remodel the way in which individuals take into consideration connectivity,” mentioned Ruy Pinto, chief know-how officer at SES. “Delivering efficiency above all, O3b mPOWER will provide connectivity companies to authorities organizations and enterprises based mostly in essentially the most distant areas. In occasions of pure disasters, when networks are disrupted, O3b mPOWER’s low-latency companies can shortly restore vital communications networks.”
The unique O3b satellites, constructed by Thales Alenia House practically a decade in the past, had 10 consumer beams per spacecraft. The brand new O3b mPOWER satellites, constructed on Boeing’s 702 spacecraft platform, every have greater than 4,000 beams that may be adjusted to focus bandwidth on high-demand areas.
SES has targeted on creating broadband satellites for a MEO constellation constellation, which places the relay stations nearer to Earth than geostationary orbit some 22,000 miles over the planet. That reduces the latency, or lag, in web indicators in comparison with geostationary satellites. As few as three geostationary satellites may present international protection, however extra satellites in MEO required to succeed in all over the world.
However that quantity remains to be far fewer than the a whole bunch or hundreds of web satellites corporations like SpaceX and OneWeb are launching into low Earth orbit. Satellites flying lower than 1,000 miles above Earth cut back latency even additional than MEO satellites, however many extra spacecraft are wanted for international protection.
Boeing is contracted to construct 11 O3b mPOWER satellites. Extra O3b mPOWER payloads are scheduled to launch on Falcon 9 rockets in 2023.
O3b stands for “Different 3 Billion” in recognition of the billions of individuals with out entry to dependable web service.
“SES approached us with a imaginative and prescient to create international fairness, by offering individuals with high-speed connectivity the place it wasn’t economically or bodily possible to construct fiber infrastructure,” mentioned Jim Chilton, senior vice chairman of house and launch at Boeing. “We partnered to create an excellent pc constellation in house to fulfill that objective, and we will’t wait to see what SES does because the 702X platform’s first consumer.”
ROCKET: Falcon 9 (B1067.8)
PAYLOAD: O3b mPOWER 1 & 2
LAUNCH SITE: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral House Drive Station, Florida
LAUNCH DATE: Dec. 16, 2022
LAUNCH TIME: 4:21-5:48 p.m. EST (2121-2248 GMT)
WEATHER FORECAST: Higher than 90% likelihood of fine climate
BOOSTER RECOVERY: “A Shortfall of Gravitas” drone ship within the Atlantic Ocean
LAUNCH AZIMUTH: East
TARGET ORBIT: Medium Earth Orbit switch
- T+00:00: Liftoff
- T+01:12: Most aerodynamic stress (Max-Q)
- T+02:33: First stage predominant engine cutoff (MECO)
- T+02:36: Stage separation
- T+02:44: Second stage engine ignition (SES 1)
- T+03:22: Payload fairing jettison
- T+06:33: First stage entry burn ignition (three engines)
- T+06:55: First stage entry burn cutoff
- T+08:03: Second stage engine cutoff (SECO 1)
- T+08:24: First stage touchdown burn ignition (one engine)
- T+08:47: First stage touchdown
- T+27:10: Second stage engine restart (SES 2)
- T+27:43: Second stage engine cutoff (SECO 2)
- T+1:49:52: Second stage engine restart (SES 3)
- T+1:50:18: Second stage engine cutoff (SECO 3)
- T+1:53:19: First O3b mPOWER spacecraft separation
- T+2:00:19: Second O3b mPOWER spacecraft separation
- 191st launch of a Falcon 9 rocket since 2010
- two hundredth launch of Falcon rocket household since 2006
- eighth launch of Falcon 9 booster B1067
- 163rd Falcon 9 launch from Florida’s House Coast
- 106th Falcon 9 launch from pad 40
- 161st launch total from pad 40
- 131st flight of a reused Falcon 9 booster
- eighth SpaceX launch for SES
- 57th Falcon 9 launch of 2022
- 58th launch by SpaceX in 2022
- fifty fifth orbital launch try based mostly out of Cape Canaveral in 2022
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Comply with Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.
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