Live coverage of the countdown and launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Starlink 4-22 mission launched SpaceX’s next batch of 53 Starlink broadband satellites. Follow us Twitter.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is counting down to launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 10:20 a.m. EDT (1420 GMT) on Sunday with 53 Starlink internet satellites. The mission will mark SpaceX’s fourth launch in 10 days, and SpaceX’s 31st launch in 2022, tying the record for Falcon 9 missions in a calendar year.
The Falcon 9 booster will aim to land on a SpaceX drone ship parked in the Atlantic Ocean northeast of Cape Canaveral.
The rocket will head northeast from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, with the goal of connecting broadband and packaged relay stations into an orbit between 144 miles and 210 miles (232 x 338 kilometers). 53 flat-packed satellites will be deployed from the upper stage of Falcon 9 about 15 minutes after liftoff.
With Thursday’s mission, Starlink 4-22 assigned, SpaceX will have launched 2,858 Starlink satellites to the Internet, including prototypes and test units that are no longer in service. Thursday’s launch will mark SpaceX’s 51st mission primarily dedicated to moving Starlink’s internet satellites into orbit.
Stationed inside the firing room at the Launch Control Center south of Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, the SpaceX launch team will begin loading ultra-cold, condensed kerosene and liquid oxygen thrusters into the 229-foot (70 m) Falcon 9 at T-minus 35 minutes. .
Helium pressure will also flow into the rocket in the last half hour of the countdown. In the last seven minutes before takeoff, the Falcon 9 Merlin’s main engines will be thermally conditioned for flight through a procedure known as “chilldown”. The Falcon 9’s guidance and field safety systems will also be configured for launch.
After liftoff, the Falcon 9 rocket will direct 1.7 million pounds of thrust — produced by nine Merlin engines — to steer in the northeast Atlantic.
The rocket will exceed the speed of sound in about one minute, and then shut down its nine main engines two and a half minutes after takeoff. The booster will fire from the upper stage of the Falcon 9, then release pulses of cold gas control thrusters and extend the titanium grille fins to help steer the vehicle back into the atmosphere.
Two brake burners will slow the missile down when landing on the drone ship.
The booster rocket – tail number B1051 – flying on Sunday is one of the oldest reusable rockets in SpaceX’s fleet. It was first launched in March 2019 with the first unmanned test flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon vehicle. Since then, the booster has launched the Canadian Radarsat Constellation Mission, SiriusXM’s SXM 7 broadcasting satellite, and nine Starlink missions.
The B1051 will become the third booster aircraft in SpaceX’s inventory to reach 13 flights. SpaceX has certified Falcon 9 boosters for at least 15 missions, an extension of the original certification for 10 flights.
The first stage landing on Friday’s mission will occur moments after the Falcon 9’s second stage engine shutdown to deliver Starlink satellites into orbit. The separation of the 53 spacecraft, built by SpaceX in Redmond, Washington, has been confirmed at T+ plus 15 minutes and 28 seconds.
The retaining rails will be launched from the Starlink payload stack, allowing the flat-packed satellites to fly freely from the Falcon 9’s upper stage into orbit. The 53 spacecraft will rotate and power the solar arrays through automated activation steps, then use krypton-fueled ion engines to maneuver into their operational orbit.
The Falcon 9’s guidance computer aims to deploy the satellites into an elliptical orbit at an orbital inclination of 53.2 degrees to the equator. The satellites will use onboard thrust to do the rest of the work to reach a circular orbit 335 miles (540 kilometers) above Earth.
Starlink satellites will fly in one of five orbital “shells” in different directions of the global Internet for SpaceX. After reaching their operational orbit, the satellites will enter commercial service and begin transmitting broadband signals to consumers, who can purchase Starlink service and connect to the network through a ground station provided by SpaceX.
Rocket: Falcon 9 (B1051.13)
Payload: 53 Starlink satellites (Starlink 4-22)
launch site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Space Station, Florida
Lunch date: July 17 2022
launch time: 10:20:00 AM EST (1420:00 GMT)
weather forecast: 50% chance of acceptable weather; low risk of upper level winds; Reduced risk of conditions unfavorable to enhanced recovery
Recovery from reinforcement: Drone “Just Read Instructions” Drone East of Charleston, South Carolina
AZIMUTH LAUNCH: the Northeast
target orbit: 144 miles by 210 miles (232 kilometers by 338 kilometers), 53.2 degrees miles
- T+00:00: take off
- T+01: 12: maximum air pressure (Max-Q)
- T+02:28: 1st stage of main engine cut-off (MICO)
- T+02:32: Separation stage
- T+02:39: Ignite the engine in the second stage
- T+02:43: Get rid of the calm
- T+06:50: Ignition of burning entering the first stage (three engines)
- T+07:09: First stage entry combustion cut off
- T+08:26: 1st stage combustion ignition (single engine)
- T+08: 47: Engine cut-off in second stage (SECO 1)
- T+08:48: First stage landing
- T+15:28: Starlink satellite disconnect
- The 165th launch of the Falcon 9 since 2010
- The 173rd launch of the Falcon family since 2006
- The 13th launch of the Falcon 9 Booster B1051
- Falcon 9 143 launched from Florida’s space coast
- Falcon 9 92 launched from the 40 . platform
- 147th release overall from plate 40
- Flight 107 of the reused Falcon 9 booster
- The launch of the 51st custom Falcon 9 with Starlink satellites
- The 31st Falcon 9 will be launched in 2022
- SpaceX’s 31st launch in 2022
- The 31st orbital launch from Cape Canaveral in 2022
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