SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets preparing for JCSAT-16 and Amos-6 launches
SpaceX is lining up its next two missions, with Falcon 9 hardware currently in pre-launch preparations for launch. In Florida, the Falcon 9 tasked with the JCSAT-16 launch is preparing for a Static Fire test on August 10, while at SpaceX’s test center in Texas, the Amos-6 first stage is on the stand ready for its own engine firing ahead of shipping to the Cape.
SpaceX’s next launch is currently scheduled for August 14, with liftoff from Cape Canaveral’s SLC-40 targeting a two hour launch window that opens at 01:26 local time.
The JCSAT-16 spacecraft will be operated by Sky Perfect JSAT Corporation, a Japanese telecommunications company formed in 2008 through the merger of Sky Perfect Communications, JSAT Corporation and Space Communications Corporation.
Space Systems/Loral constructed the satellite, which is based on the SSL-1300 bus.
A fleet of eight JCSAT spacecraft have been launched by numerous rockets, ranging from Sea Launch’s Zenit 3SL, ILS Proton-M and more recently Arianespace’s Ariane 5 that lofted the JCSAT-13 satellite from Kourou in May, 2012 – sharing the ride uphill with the VINASAT-2 satellite.
The Japanese company then opted to deal with SpaceX for the first time, with the contract award for the launch of its JCSAT-14 spacecraft.
That spacecraft is tasked with replacing JCSAT-2A, providing coverage to Asia, Russia, Oceania and the Pacific Islands.
With 26 optimized C-band transponders and 18 Ku-Band transponders, the satellite is being used to extend JCSAT’s geographical footprint and “address fast-growing mobility markets across the Asia-Pacific region,” per the company’s ambitions.
The May launch of JCSAT-14 to its Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO) was successful and included the Falcon 9 first stage concluding its flight by landing on the deck of the SpaceX drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You”.
The follow-on mission with JCSAT-16 will be a near-repeat of the May mission, with the SSL-1300 spacecraft again sporting twenty-six C-band and 18 Ku-band transponders and heading to GTO. Its operator is classing this spacecraft as an on-orbit spare.
Preparations for the launch saw the first stage, F9-S1-0028, departing its Hawthorne birthplace for a trip to SpaceX’s McGregor test center in Texas.
It was fired up on the test stand last month to validate its propulsion systems were in good working order.
It has since arrived at Cape Canaveral and will undergo a dress rehearsal on the SLC-40 launch pad, culminating in a Static Fire of its Merlin 1D engines for a couple of seconds. SpaceX is currently aiming for an August 10 test, per L2 KSC/Cape schedules.
The departure of F9-S1-0028 from McGregor freed up the test stand for testing of the returned JCSAT-14 booster (F9-S1-0024).
Despite suffering “max damage” from its high velocity return, a major milestone in the goal of reusing returned first stages for additional missions was achieved via three full duration firings in the space of three days.
The stage has since been removed from the test stand and is being inspected to gain additional data on the condition of the booster.
It may yet return for additional firings, given SpaceX has noted this stage is now a ground test article and won’t be reflown.
However, the new resident of the test stand will be flown, with F9-S1-0029 preparing for its own static fire in Texas.
It was spotted on the stand late this week (L2 McGregor), although when it is due to be fired is currently unknown.
Its job will be to help launch the Amos-6 satellite late in August, or early September.
SpaceX signed the contract to launch Amos-6 on behalf of Space Communication Ltd (Spacecom) in early 2013.
The Amos-6 satellite, built by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), will provide communication services including direct satellite home internet for Africa, the Middle East, and Europe.
Amos-6 – to be launched into a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) – will replace Amos-2, which is expected to end its service life later this year.
SpaceX Falcon 9 to try early Sunday launch, sea landing
looking to expand our facilities on the Space Coast to support rocket refurbishment,” said John Taylor, a SpaceX spokesman, adding that several locations are being considered.
One site known to be of interest is the former Spacehab payload processing facility at Port Canaveral, conveniently located near the dock where SpaceX offloads boosters from its ship.
This ship is the landing target for Falcon rockets launching spacecraft to high orbits, like the upcoming mission sending a satellite on its way to a perch more than 22,000 miles over the equator. Missions to lower orbits, like last month's launch of International Space Station cargo, may try to return to a landing pad at Cape Canaveral.
SpaceX says it hopes to re-launch a used rocket for the first time later this year, but has not yet confirmed a target date or customer.
The mission early Sunday is SpaceX’s eighth this year, the most it has flown in any calendar year. And it's the second in about three months for Tokyo-based Sky Perfect JSAT, Asia’s largest satellite operator with a fleet of 16.
SpaceX launched the JCSAT-14 satellite on May 6. The next satellite, called JCSAT-16 and also built by California-based Space Systems Loral, will start out as a backup in orbit.
SpaceX will add a flair of excitement for those still awake at 1:26 a.m. Sunday when it launches a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
The California-based company will launch Falcon 9 with a Japanese communications satellite from Launch Complex 40 and will attempt a ship landing in the Atlantic Ocean. Weather is 80 percent "go," according to a forecast issued by the 45th Weather Squadron on Thursday.
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Quelle: Florida Today
Update: 14.08.2016 / 11.15 MESZ
LIVE-Frams von Falcon-9
14.08.2016 / 22.00 MESZ
By 45th Space Wing Public Affairs Office, / Published August 14, 2016
The U.S. Air Force’s 45th Space Wing supported the successful SpaceX Falcon 9 JCSAT-16 launch Aug. 14, 2016, at 1:26 a.m. ET from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. A combined team of military, government civilians and contractors from across the 45th Space Wing supported the mission with weather forecasts, launch and range operations, security, safety and public affairs. The wing also provided its vast network of radar, telemetry and communications instrumentation to facilitate a safe launch on the Eastern Range. (Photo/SpaceX)
The U.S. Air Force’s 45th Space Wing supported the successful SpaceX Falcon 9 JCSAT-16 launch Aug. 14, 2016, at 1:26 a.m. ET from Space Launch Complex 40 here.
The Falcon 9 rocket is carrying the JCSAT-16 communications satellite built by Space Systems Loral for Tokyo-based SKY Perfect JSAT Corp. JCSAT-16 will be a backup satellite for Ku-band and Ka-band communications services over the Japanese market.
A combined team of military, government civilians and contractors from across the 45th Space Wing supported the mission with weather forecasts, launch and range operations, security, safety and public affairs. The wing also provided its vast network of radar, telemetry and communications instrumentation to facilitate a safe launch on the Eastern Range.
“I am very proud of the entire Space Coast team. Their flawless work made this mission a success,” said Col. Walt Jackim, 45th Space Wing vice commander and mission Launch Decision Authority. “Assured access to space remains a difficult and challenging endeavor. Today's launch reflects a superb collaborative effort between commercial launch providers, allied customers, and U.S. Air Force range and safety resources. The 45th Space Wing remains a proud member of the Space Coast team and we look forward to continuing our service as the 'World's Premier Gateway to Space.’”