tech2 News StaffJun 24, 2019 17:22:22 IST
SpaceX is going to launch its self-admitted 'most challenging' rocket launch on 24 June 11.30 am EST in the USA and 25 June in the wee hours of the morning in India. The launch window will be from 8.30 pm IST and if there are any obstacles, the launch will be postponed to 25 June. This will be the first time that the rocket will lift off at night and is the third Falcon Heavy launch.
They rocket will be launching 24 payloads at three different orbits and the mission will last a total of six hours. It will also involve four separate upper stage engine burns.
The mission is for the US Department of Defense’s (DOD) Space Test Program-2 (STP-2). It will include payloads from NASA, DOD, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and experiments of several universities. There is also a solar sail called Lightsail 2 and a Deep Space Atomic clock, which is the smallest of its kind.
Since NASA has a few payloads on the rocket, they will be live streaming the launch here.
The mission is also carrying 152 metal capsules packed with human ashes. This has been arranged by a company called as Celestis which charges upwards of $5,000 for putting 1 gram of ash into outer space. Ashes of Apollo 11 support astronaut Bill Pogue will also be launched into space. The canisters will orbit the planet and eventually enter the Earth’s atmosphere and burn up.
This will also be the first time that the side boosters of the Falcon Heavy are reused. SpaceX will also attempt to land the side boosters again on the ground landing zones, and the centre core will land on the Of Course I Still Love You drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
This mission marks the first reuse of side boosters that flew on a previous Falcon Heavy mission pic.twitter.com/4Zl7miTQ24
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) June 22, 2019
The last time they tried to capture the core centre was not all that successful. The core landed but they lost it to the rough seas. This time the core will be landing 768 miles away from shore, which is the furthest it has ever been. While the core stage is identical to the side stages, it separates from the payload at a much higher altitude, which means it's returning to the Earth at a much higher speed than the boosters.
The Falcon Heavy is the most capable heavy lift launch vehicle in service anywhere in the world at this time.
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