Live coverage of the countdown and the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. The Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Hotbird 13F geostationary communication satellites from Eutelsat. Follow us Twitter.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off at 1:22 a.m. EDT (0522 GMT) on Saturday with Eutelsat’s Hotbird 13F television broadcast satellite. The mission marked SpaceX’s 100th launch from platform 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
The Airbus Hotbird 13F spacecraft, which weighs 9,868 pounds (4,476 kilograms), will broadcast hundreds of television and radio channels across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Hotbird 13F is the first satellite to be built on the design of Airbus’ new Eurostar Neo spacecraft, incorporating upgrades in propulsion, thermal control and electrical systems.
The 116-minute launch window opened at 11:26 p.m. EDT Friday (0326 GMT Saturday) and ran until 1:22 AM (0522 GMT). Forecasters from the US Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron have predicted a 90% probability of favorable weather for liftoff, with only a small chance of cumulus clouds that might create a lightning threat.
A front border moved across central Florida earlier on Friday.
Weather team wrote the official weather forecast release.
SpaceX delayed the launch time until the end of the launch window to allow additional time to review the data. The company did not explain the reason for reviewing the data.
The launch early Saturday was the fourth flight of the Falcon 9 rocket this month, after three Falcon 9 launches in several days last week.
In preparation for Saturday’s launch, SpaceX crews rolled a Falcon 9 rocket and its commercial satellite payload to Platform 40, then lifted it vertically above the flame trench earlier Friday. During Saturday’s countdown, the 229-foot (70-meter) launch pad filled with 1 million pounds of kerosene and liquid oxygen propellant in the last 35 minutes before liftoff.
After teams verified that the technical and weather parameters were all “green” for the launch, the nine main Merlin 1D engines in the first stage of the spark booster flashed with the help of an ignition fluid called triethyl aluminum/triethylborane, or TEA-TEB. Once the engines were increased to full throttle, the hydraulic clamps opened to free the Falcon 9 for its climb into space.
The nine main engines produced 1.7 million pounds of thrust for about two and a half minutes, propelling Eutelsat’s Falcon 9 and Hotbird 13F communications satellite into the upper atmosphere. Then the boost stage – tail number B1069 in the SpaceX fleet – was closed and separated from the upper stage of the Falcon 9.
The booster extended titanium mesh fins and pulsed cold gas thrusters to orient themselves first to enter the atmosphere, before re-igniting its engines to burn the throttle and burn the final landing, targeting the vertical landing of the UAV ship “read only ‘instructions'” parked about 410 miles away (about 660 kilometers) east of Cape Canaveral.
The successful landing of a rocket aboard the drone saw the completion of the booster’s third flight into space, after it was launched last December on a cargo mission to the International Space Station, and then on August 27 with a group of Starlink’s internet satellites.
The booster was damaged, apparently by raging sea waves, after landing on its first mission in December. SpaceX repaired the rocket and returned it to the active rotation of the Falcon 9 boosters in August.
On a Saturday morning mission, a Falcon 9 rocket fired the upper stage engine twice to inject the Hotbird 13F spacecraft into a geostationary elliptical transfer orbit with a high peak or point, more than 20,000 miles above Earth.
The Hotbird 13F separated from the Falcon 9 rocket about 36 minutes into the mission.
After flying without a SpaceX launcher, Hotbird 13F will open the solar panels and power the plasma propulsion system for months of orbital maneuvering to reach a circular geostationary orbit more than 22,000 miles (nearly 36,000 kilometers) above the equator. Lifting the orbit using electric propulsion takes longer than maneuvers that rely on conventional rocket engines.
Hotbird 13F will rotate with a lock-up with the Earth’s rotation at 13 degrees east longitude.
By the middle of next year, Hotbird 13F will be ready to enter commercial service to begin a 15-year mission to broadcast television programming to Eutelsat customers. Hotbird 13G, scheduled to launch in November on another Falcon 9 rocket, will follow about a month later on its dual satellite, heading to the same location in geostationary orbit.
“Hotbird 13F is the first of two satellites to be positioned at the main Eutelsat 13°E position, so this is a significant event for us,” said Pascal Hemsi, Eutelsat’s chief technical officer. “It will be the first satellite based on Airbus’s Eurostar Neo electric propulsion platform, enhancing innovation and competitiveness in the European space industry.”
Thanks to improvements in satellite communications technology, Eutelsat will only need two new Hotbird satellites to replace the three old Hotbird spacecraft operating at 13° East.
Homsi said the Hotbird fleet at 13 degrees East constitutes the highest satellite broadcasting system covering Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, providing 1,000 TV channels to more than 160 million homes. Hotbird 13F and 13G will broadcast signals at Ku-band frequencies.
“We have over 600 pay-TV channels, 300 free-to-air channels, 450 HDTV, and 14 ultra-high definition channels broadcasting from this pioneering location 13 degrees east,” Homsi said. “We are also able to provide 500 radio stations and multimedia services.”
Rocket: Falcon 9 (B1069.3)
Payload: Hotbird 13F الاتصالات Communication Satellite
launch site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Space Station, Florida
Lunch date: 14 and 15 October 2022
launch window: 11:26 PM – 1:22 AM EDT (0326-0522 GMT)
weather forecast: 90% acceptable weather probability
Recovery from reinforcement: Unmanned ship “just read the instructions”
AZIMUTH LAUNCH: east
target orbit: geostationary transfer orbit
- T+00:00: take off
- T+01: 12: maximum air pressure (Max-Q)
- T+02:32: 1st stage for main engine cut-off (MICU)
- T+02:35: Phase separation
- T+02:42: Ignite the engine in the second stage
- T+03:22: Abandon the peak
- T+06:29: Ignition of burning entering the first stage (three engines)
- T+06:57: First stage entry combustion ends
- T+08:07: 2nd stage engine cut-off (SECO 1)
- T+08:22: 1st stage burner ignition (single engine)
- T+08:45: First stage landing
- T+29:12: Restart the engine in the second stage
- T+30: 10: Second stage engine cut-off (SECO 2)
- T+36:11: Hotbird chapter 13F
- The 181st launch of the Falcon 9 since 2010
- The 189th launch of the Falcon family since 2006
- Third launch of Falcon 9 Booster B1069حرك
- Falcon 9 #155 launched from Florida’s space coast
- 100 Falcon 9 launched from the 40 . platform
- 155th launch overall from the 40 . platform
- Flight 122 of the reused Falcon 9 booster
- SpaceX’s third launch of Eutelsat
- Falcon 9 47th launch in 2022
- SpaceX 47 launch in 2022
- The 45th orbital launch attempt launched from Cape Canaveral in 2022
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