SpaceX will attempt its tenth launch of the year on Tuesday, a mission serving two different customers. The Falcon 9 rocket will carry five communications satellites for the Iridium NEXT constellation, along with two gravity measuring satellites for the NASA and the German Research Center for Geosciences.
This first-stage amplifier has flown once, just over four months ago, when it launched the Zuma mission for the US government. UU., A satellite or spaceship that apparently was lost in space after it was not separated from the second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX seems to have been absolved of guilt for this setback, and certainly the reinforcement of the first stage was played nominally during that mission.
SpaceX will not attempt to recover this core, since it is a variant of the reinforcement of Block 4. Each core of block 4 will fly only twice as the company tries to move all its launches to the newest version of the rocket of block 5, which Performance has been increased slightly and numerous updates to optimize the first stage of reuse.
Although SpaceX will not try to recover the first stage, it will try to recover half of the fairing from the payload of the rocket, using a system of propellers and parachutes on board to direct half of the fairing back to the Pacific Ocean towards a ship called Sir. Steven . This boat will try to "catch" the fairing before it falls to the ocean. Previous attempts to recover the fairing have approached, but have not been successful.
The five Iridium satellites will be part of a new constellation to replace the largest commercial satellite network in the world. This is the sixth of the eight SpaceX flights for Iridium to deliver a total of 75 satellites in an orbit 667 km above the surface of the Earth.
The upper part of the fairing will house two Grace Follow-On satellites that will measure in a month or months of changes in the gravitational attraction of the Earth with great precision. These twin satellites will continue the work of monitoring changes in the water cycle and surface mass that started the original GRACE mission and have produced more than 4,300 research papers to date.
The time for Tuesday's launch is forecast to be 90-percent favorable. The launch time is set for 12:47 pm PT (19:47 UTC). The webcast below should start about 15 minutes before launch.