The Falcon Heavy rocket is ready for SpaceX’s second Space Force mission

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy inside the company's Kennedy Space Center facility.

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy inside the company’s Kennedy Space Center facility.

SpaceX’s military launch, designated USSF-67, looks set to rock, as a static test fire was successfully completed earlier in the week and fine weather conditions were forecast for Saturday. Here’s what you need to know about the private company’s second national security launch and fifth flight of its powerful Falcon Heavy rocket.

Falcon Heavy is Unofficial It’s scheduled to lift off Saturday, January 14, at 5:51 p.m. ET from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The rocket will attempt to deliver a communications satellite for the US Space Force, along with a suite of unidentified payloads making a journey into geosynchronous orbit (GEO). offline weather and expect For being 80% favorable to launch.

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If all goes as planned, this will be SpaceX’s fourth launch in 2023, the fifth of the Falcon Heavy overall, and the second national security mission for the US Space Force. USSF-44SpaceX’s first national security launch occurred on November 1, 2022, with the Falcon Heavy performing a similar mission.

The 230-foot (70-meter) Falcon Heavy is built with three Falcon 9 engine cores. Combined, its 27 Merlin engines produce more than 5 million pounds of thrust, making it the most powerful commercial rocket currently in use. It can lift approximately 64 metric tons to low Earth orbit and 26.7 metric tons directly to geosynchronous orbit. The missile is located horizontally to reach the launch pad, and then raised to a vertical position using a conveyor-erector known as the strongback.

The Falcon Heavy debuted in 2018 but has fallen out of frequent use due to Delayed delivery of the cargo. The situation appears to be changing, as the rocket is expected to fly up to five times in 2023, including the third and fourth Space Force missions and rocket launches. Viasat’s first large-scale satellite And NASA’s breath probe.

SpaceX conducted a Static fire test of the rocket on Tuesday, firing all 27 Merlin engines for eight seconds. Because payloads were not included during static fire tests, the rocket was later moved to SpaceX’s Kennedy hangar, where teams will install the payload in preparation for launch scheduled for Saturday, Teslarati. reports.

Shortly after the rocket’s launch on Saturday, two side boosters to the rocket will attempt a vertical landing at Kennedy Landing Zones 1 and 2. The central core will not be recovered.

Details about USSF-67 payloads are scarce, due to the classified nature of the mission. The primary payload is CBAS 2, a “military communications and relay satellite designed to ensure communication between commanders and senior government leaders,” as the daily astronaut Describe He. She. Also on board is the Long Duration Propulsive ESPA 3A, or LDPE 3A, a Northrop Grumman payload converter that will attempt to deliver “multiple test payloads,” according to Kennedy Space Center. USSF-67 launch page. The payloads will be transferred to a geosynchronous orbit about 22,250 miles (35,800 kilometers) above the surface, but exact orbital parameters have not been disclosed.

SpaceX’s next year is shaping up fast. The company works for Elon Musk The stated goal of 100 orbital launches in 2023an achievement that would smash Company record 61in the year 2022.

more: SpaceX ambitiously kicks off 2023 with a massive orbital delivery

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