SpaceX Prepares for the Double Launch of Falcon 9 Rockets

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SpaceX is planning to launch two Falcon 9 flight-proven rockets and drone ship landings, one from each coast of the USA, as they should be launched from Cape Canaveral and the Vandenberg Air force Base on (NET) November 15 and 19.

East Coast plan

The drone ship Of Course I Still Love You has been dispatched from Port Canaveral on November 11. The Falcon 9 B1047 is currently going through some last-minute tests. One of them is a preflight static fire text which implies an engine test on the ground, with a mixture of less powerful fuel, in order to observe how the engines should perform during the actual launch. The test should have taken place on November 10 but it was delayed until November 12. The delay will push back the launch of the Es’hail-2 satellite to November 1th.

After the loss of Amos 6 during a preflight static fire back in September 2016, the company will not perform tests that involve the placement of a payload on the top of the rocket unless the client requests it. This means that after the test the rocket will be moved back to the hangar for inspection and the payload will be added only if it passes all the security checks.

Since Falcon 9 rockets demand fine-tuning the timespan between the static fire test and the proper launch will rarely go under 72 hours, and several procedures will also take place before the rocket is ready for take-of. These include moving the rocket back to the launch pad, securing the vehicle and properly checking the current state of the rocket.

West Coast shuffle

The drone Ship Just Read the Instruction has recently left the Port of San Pedro. On the NET November 19 a Falcon 9 rocket that will carry a multi-satellite rideshare is planned to launch. While the rocket should have enough fuel left in order to return to the launch site SpaceX decided to have the JRTI on stand-by.

Both missions should be successful as the rockets have completed previous missions without problems.


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