Editor’s note: SpaceX has postponed the launch of its first Starlink mission for 2021 until Tuesday January 19 at 8:23 a.m. EDT (1323 GMT) due to bad weather at sea due to the landing of a Falcon 9 rocket.
Due to unfavorable weather conditions in the recovery area, it is now targeting Tuesday Jan 19 at 8:23 a.m. EDT to launch StarlinkJanuary 18, 2021
The original story:
The Hawthorne, California-based company will deploy 60 internet satellites from Starlink on its workhorse. Falcon 9 rocket From historic Pad 39A to NASA here at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 8:45 am EST (1422 GMT).
SpaceX has already launched one launch this year and is looking to accelerate its pace. 2020 was an impressive year For the private spaceflight company, which included two different missions for astronauts to the International Space Station – the first for a commercial company.
It was also the company’s busiest launch year to date, recording 26 record flights, shattering the previous record of 18 flights in 2018. This year SpaceX has even bigger ambitions, with the company planning to launch 40 missiles between launch sites in California and Florida. .
After take-off on Monday, the first stage of the Falcon 9 is expected to land aboard SpaceX’s unmanned ship, “Read Instructions Only,” in the Atlantic Ocean. (SpaceX’s flagship unmanned vessel, Of Course I Still Love You, is undergoing maintenance before returning to service after a busy year.) If successful, the landing would represent the recovery of the California-based missile’s first-stage boost. the creator.
The missile in this launch will be another record-setting booster. Known as the B1051, this proven booster aircraft will embark on its eighth flight – the first in SpaceX’s fleet to do so. It would also represent one of SpaceX’s shorter rotation times between flights, as SpaceX in particular has flown for just over a month.
To date, the B1051 has carried a variety of payloads, including an unmanned Crew Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station as part of its 2019 flight test, followed by three Earth observation satellites for Canada as well as four different Starlink missions. Most recently, she carried 15,432 lbs. (7000 kg) A satellite in orbit for Sirius XM, This will send the content to Sirius subscribers across the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean.
SpaceX has created its Starlink Internet Program to connect users around the world and provide reliable and affordable internet service, primarily to remote and rural areas. With a small station (no larger than a laptop), users on Earth will be able to connect to the ever-growing network. Founder and CEO of SpaceX Elon Musk He said the company needs to launch between 500 and 800 satellites in order to start rolling out the service.
To date, SpaceX has launched more than 1,000 Internet-sending satellites into orbit, in an effort to fill its planned initial batch of 1,440 spacecraft. SpaceX has already begun beta testing the space Internet service, and the initial testing phase has shown that the service is reliable.
The stage is going so well that SpaceX has started helping UK users with beta testing. The company was licensed to start operating in the UK last year, thanks to the local telecom organization Ofcom.
Monday’s launch marks Flight 102 in general for the two-stage Falcon 9 missile that is the backbone of SpaceX, as well as the flight number 51 of the Falcon 9 since the company began restoring reinforcements in 2015.
Over the past five years, the company has honed recovery efforts, while continuing to demonstrate the reliability of the Falcon 9. Previously launched flight boosters are now commonplace for SpaceX, and have allowed the company to launch its rockets at a record pace.
So far, SpaceX has successfully landed first stage boosters 71 times. Now that the company has two fully operational unmanned ship landing platforms – “Of Course I Still Love You” and “Just Read the Instructions” – in Florida, it is able to launch (and land) more missiles. The newer unmanned vessel on the block, “Read Instructions Only,” is already in the recovery area waiting in turn to capture the B1051 upon its return to Earth on Monday.
SpaceX is expected to continue its tradition of returning a Falcon 9 payload gift, or nose cone, on this journey. The company owns two boats equipped with a network – called GO Ms. Tree and GO Ms. Chief – It uses it to block fairings And they retreat to the ground in two parts.
Each shell-like piece of hardware, which costs nearly $ 6 million combined, is equipped with software that takes it to the recovery area, and a parachute system that lets them gently land in the ocean or the elongated net of GO Ms. Tree and go mrs head.
Boats are also able to take off slides from the water because fishing in the air is difficult and depends on many factors, such as weather and wind. Usually the team decides whether to pick up or scoop the day of launch. These recovery efforts take place approximately 45 minutes after take off.
For now, the weather is at 70%, go for launch opportunity on Monday, with the only weather concerns being the possibility of cumulus clouds over the launch site. There is a backup runtime on Tuesday if needed. Launch weather that day looks better, with a 90% chance of favorable launch conditions.
If everything goes as planned, it could mark SpaceX’s first launch from Florida this week. The Hawthorne, California-based company plans to launch its ride-sharing mission on Thursday (Jan 21). And the month could end with another Starlink mission.
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