After a few weeks without release, SpaceX will return to action next week with a static fire and launch Es-hail 2 – the telecommunications satellite for Qatar Satellite Company. Meanwhile, SpaceX has recently been certified to fly the most valuable scientific content in NASA's Lunch Services Program (LSP).
The last SpaceX launch was October 6, when Falcon 9 successfully sent SAOCOM 1A to orbit. A period of several weeks between launch was a rarity for SpaceX 2018.
The next week's mission – Es # hail 2 – will tie SpaceX's 18 launch launches in 2017 in one year with four more launches that will remain in 2018 after this upcoming mission.
Falcon 9 will put Es & hail 2 in a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) – before Mitsubishi's built-in spacecraft uses its inboard thrusters to reach the final destination.
The routine test of the pre-launched static fire for the mission is currently scheduled for November 11.
During the static fire testing, the rocket-powered Falcon 9 with a fully-fledged fire will light up nine Merlin engines for a few seconds to verify that all vehicle systems have a nominal function.
After a static fire, SpaceX will perform a quick preview of the data before confirming the launch date.
If all is well, the date is expected on November 15, opening the window at 15:46 east (20:46 UTC) and closing at 17:29 east (22:29 UTC).
Mission Eshail 2 will be SpaceX first from the LC-39A from Bangaband-1 in May. Since then, the launch complex has been undergoing renewal to support NASA's commercial creation program.
Significantly, the access robe is clearly visible on the fixed structure (FSS) plate.
After Es # 2 hail 2 launch, the first stage booster will make a landing on droneship of course, I still love you (OCISLY) in the Atlantic Ocean.
Only four days later, SpaceX will launch Spaceflight Industries SAO mission from Vandenberg. The launch will include dozens of small satellites for different users with the Spaceflight mission data adapter and mission service.
It is important that the first phase of the mission is considered B1046.3. If so, it could run the first one to have the same Falcon 9 first-rate aircraft for the third time.
While the Falcon 9 amplifier capable of landing at Landing Zone 4 during this mission, such recovery will not be possible due to range conflicts.
In this case, the conflict is the Delta IV Heavy and NROL-71 utility load scheduled to run from SLC-6 on November 29.
The SLC-6 has a chassis of SpaceX's SLC-4E launch.
Although SpaceX's launched profile is not a significant risk to SLC-6, the landing path represents a higher risk for relocating objects.
As a result, landslide landing during SSOs would only be allowed if this occurred after the Delta IV Heavy chain.
Therefore, SpaceX is currently planning to recover the first phase on the droneship just read the instructions (JRTI) – under the FCC approval.
The current SSO-A launch window is at 10:32 Pacific (18:32 UTC).
After that Mission SpaceX will return to the east coast. CRS-16 – Freight Mission to the International Space Station – is scheduled to be launched with SLC-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force on December 4 at 13:38 in the east (18:38 UTC).
Teams will then quickly reverse the SLC-40 startup complex to launch the GPS III-1 on December 15th. The window for that mission opens at 9:24 am (14:24 UTC).
The first phase of recovery will not be attempted during this mission.
Finally, SpaceX will finish 2018 with the eighth and final Iridium NEXT launch on Dec. 30 by Vandenberg. The current launch window for Iridium-8 is at 8:38 pm Pacific (16:38 UTC).
Once commissioned, the original booster – marked as B1049.2 – will land at JRTI in the Pacific Ocean.
Also in December, Falcon 9 is expected to launch a demonstration mission-1 (DM-1) perpendicular to the LC-39A before launch, said SpaceX president and COW Gwynne Shotwell's comments on the AOPA High School Aviation STEM symposium.
DM-1 is released test flight for NASA's commercial team. This will help SpaceX spacecraft certification Crew Dragon and Falcon 9 missiles to fly the astronauts to the International Space Station.
It is currently anticipated that the DM-1 mission will occur before January 8, 2019, according to L2 data. It is expected that the exact targeting date will be confirmed in the coming weeks.
In addition, the spacecraft's Crew Dragon SpaceX passed NASA's standard visitor review late October – an important step ahead of launching the DM-1.
The space agency also gains confidence in the Falcon 9 missile.
NASA LSP has recently certified Falcon 9 as a category 3 launch vehicle.
According to SpaceX, "Category 3 launch vehicles are certified to support NASA's highest cost and most complex scientific missions."
Shotwell added: "Category 3 certification for the LSP is a major achievement for the Falcon 9 team and is another key step in our close partnership with NASA. We are honored to have the opportunity to provide a cost-effective and reliable launch service for the most critical scientific areas of the country."
To achieve category 3 certification, SpaceX had to show "14 consecutive successful flights (95% demonstrated reliability at 50% reliability) of a common vehicle launch configuration, instrumented to provide design verification and flight performance data," according to LSP requirements .
Such a certificate will enable SpaceX to compete with the United Launch Alliance for the 3 NASA LSP mission.