Solely days after it triumphantly launched and brought the life-leading B1049 core to a smooth touchdown on the Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship (ASDS), SpaceX is primed for its second Falcon 9 mission of March as early as Tuesday evening.
Liftoff of the veteran B1058 booster—which first saw service to lift NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to orbit aboard Dragon Endeavour last May—is scheduled to happen from storied Space Launch Complex (SLC)-40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Fla., as quickly as 9:55 p.m. EST Tuesday. Laden with a 60-strong batch of Starlink low-orbiting web communications satellites, this will likely be B1058’s sixth launch, positioning it as solely the fourth member of SpaceX’s fleet to log so many missions.
When she lofted Dragon Endeavour from historic Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), final 30 Could, B1058 helped notice the promise of the Industrial Crew Program to return U.S. astronauts to house, atop U.S. rockets, and from U.S. soil, for the first time since the end of the Space Shuttle era.
Following a clean launch and secure return to the bobbing deck of the ASDS “Of Course I Nonetheless Love You”, B1058 was quickly reprocessed for a second liftoff—this time from SLC-40, additional downrange at Cape Canaveral House Drive Station—on 20 July. This second mission noticed her present the first-stage muscle to carry South Korea’s ANASIS-II army communications satellite tv for pc to house, earlier than alighting completely onto the ASDS “Simply Learn the Directions”.
In launching twice inside a span of solely 51 days, B1058 additionally eclipsed an virtually 35-year-old document for the shortest interval between two missions by a single reusable, orbital-class booster. She neatly broke the 54-day document set by shuttle Atlantis between the launch of her STS-51J mission on 3 October 1985 and the launch of her STS-61B mission less than eight weeks later on the night of 26 November.
Third and fourth flights adopted in rapid-fire succession. B1058 deployed 60 Starlink low-orbiting web communications satellites into house on the morning of 6 October—helping to break the curse of a delay-prone “Scrubtober” on the Space Coast—and in doing so set a brand new empirical document for the shortest interval (solely 129 days) between three launches by the identical orbital-class booster.
On 6 December, she recorded the 100th fully-successful mission by a member of the Falcon 9 rocket household when she boosted the CRS-21 Dragon cargo ship to the space station. This flight additionally set a document for the shortest interval (solely 190 days) between 4 flights by the identical booster.
Extra just lately, on 24 January, B1058 grew to become solely the fifth Falcon 9 core to log a fifth mission and simply the fourth—when one discounts the final moments of last March’s voyage of her ill-fated sister B1048—to return to an intact touchdown after so many flights.
And in flying so usually, she secured one more document of 239 days between her first 5 missions. If B1058 launches as deliberate on Tuesday evening, she can have flown six occasions in 283 days and an on-point ASDS touchdown will make her solely the third Falcon 9 to return safely from so many missions, after last month’s untimely end-of-flight demise of sister B1059.
Climate on each Tuesday evening and the backup alternative on Wednesday is predicted to be extremely favorable, with a 90-percent probability of acceptable situations deteriorating barely to 80 % because the week progresses.
“A low-pressure space at the moment within the jap Gulf of Mexico will transit southern Florida in the present day, bringing widespread clouds, showers and gusty winds,” famous the 45th Climate Squadron at Patrick House Drive Base in its L-Three replace on Saturday. “The system will proceed to maneuver east into the Atlantic on Sunday, taking a lot of the unsettled climate with it, as excessive stress builds in Florida.
“On Monday, winds will diminish and turn out to be extra northeasterly, because the high-pressure space strikes off the Mid-Atlantic coast. Anticipate a lot the identical situations on Tuesday because the winds turn out to be easterly, rising cloud cowl barely with the onshore move.” Major climate issues for each Tuesday and Wednesday are a doable infringement of the Cumulus Cloud Rule and Liftoff Winds Rule.
In readiness for Tuesday’s opening launch try, the ASDS “Simply Learn the Directions” departed Port Canaveral final Friday, drawn out to sea by the tug Finn Falgout in the direction of a place about 390 miles (630 km) offshore within the Atlantic Ocean.
It stays to be seen if B1058 will likely be put by way of a Static Fireplace Check of its 9 Merlin 1D+ first-stage engines, though—within the wake of several last-second launch aborts and last month’s engine issue which doomed the final moments of B1059’s final voyage—SpaceX has tended to return to this pre-launch regime of testing as soon as extra.
Driving atop B1058 for her sixth mission will likely be one other 60 Starlinks, which ought to convey to only over 1,200 the whole variety of these low-orbiting web communications satellites positioned into house since May 2019.