Falcon 9 test-fired before Starlink launch – Spaceflight Now

SpaceX test-fired 9 Merlin Saturday earlier than the corporate’s subsequent launch from Cape Canaveral, clearing a key readiness take a look at earlier than liftoff as quickly as Sunday evening with 60 extra Starlink web satellites.

The 9 Merlin engines fired at 12:50 p.m. EST (1750 GMT) Saturday on pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Area Drive Station, ramping as much as 1.7 million kilos of for a number of seconds as hold-down clamps firmly held the 1.2-million-pound rocket on the bottom.

SpaceX confirmed a profitable static fireplace take a look at in a tweet later Saturday afternoon. The Falcon 9 is for launch at 11:21 p.m. EST Sunday (0421 GMT Monday), and can head northeast from ’s Area , aiming for an orbit between 157 miles and 177 miles (254-by-286 kilometers) in altitude, with an inclination of 53 levels to the equator.

The Starlink satellites will deploy from the rocket about 64 minutes after liftoff, unfurl their voltaic panels, and use ion thrusters to climb right into a 341-mile-high (550-kilometer) orbit to start offering web service to prospects.

With the launch Sunday evening, the SpaceX may have launched 1,145 Starlink satellites thus far.

These photographs the Falcon 9’s static fireplace take a look at Saturday, simply after thunderstorms and rain moved by means of the spaceport.

Credit score: Stephen Clark / Spaceflight Now
Credit score: Stephen Clark / Spaceflight Now
Credit score: Stephen Clark / Spaceflight Now
Credit score: Stephen Clark / Spaceflight Now
Credit score: Stephen Clark / Spaceflight Now
Credit score: Stephen Clark / Spaceflight Now

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Observe Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.

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