The second launch date of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy is in danger of slipping and is good


The first Block 5 variant of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket was launched on Launch Pad 39A for an inaugural launch that could take place on April 7th. However, it is likely that the second attempt to launch the Falcon Heavy will have minor delays, with the most likely dates being closer from April 8th to 11th.

The distinctly different appearance of the more sophisticated Falcon 9 Block 5.esque Outside, Falcon Heavy and its brand new boosters always have the same polished white skin and some of the black felt thermal protection that helps make boosters better if reusable. This reuse capability will be tested in the extreme just two months after launch – everything will run smoothly, with the US Air Force's STP-2 mission, which aims to reuse the two side boosters of Falcon Heavy Flight 2, B1052 and B1053.

Above all, it should be noted that the likelihood of a shift in the launch date of Falcon Heavy Flight 2 flight does not mean that a problem is technically or operationally incorrect with respect to the rocket or support equipment at the same time. soil (GSE). Rather, it's a simple dose of pragmatism for a launch date that was originally approved on the beach, along with a static fire on March 31st. In other words, SpaceX expected to need about seven days between static fire and launch, a fairly credible target compared to the first Falcon Heavy launch stream.

Even if SpaceX finishes a flawless Falcon Heavy static fire immediately after opening the window opening at 6:00 pm EDT, the company's engineers and technicians would have less than 72 hours to launch the rocket at launch as of April 7 at 6:36 pm EDT . This process involves a huge amount of work, including real static fire, safely detonator (remove the thruster), return to the platform 39A hangar, install the payload fairing, ensure its health, retreat to the platform and integrate the carrier with the launch pad. Throughout, many checks and double checks are made to make sure everything is ready for the flight.

Completing this job in about 72 hours is extremely difficult for the Falcon 9, not to mention a heavily modified Falcon Heavy that is preparing for the second attempt to launch the vehicle. For reference, with the exception of a few outliers, the average time between launch and launch of the Falcon 9 Block 5 is approximately 4.7 days, while the mode is 5 days (6 launches). Outliers include missions such as SSO-A, DM-1 and GPS III SV01, all of which required special attention for various reasons. Chances are good that Falcon Heavy Flight 2 is probably better than Flight 1, which took several days to complete a static shot and another 13 days before a launch attempt. Yet the rocket is very It is unlikely that the average launch time of the Falcon 9 Block 5 is above average.

Falcon Heavy prepares for its inaugural launch, February 2018. (SpaceX)

All at the moment

There is probably a 5% chance that Falcon Heavy will be launched on April 7th, even though static fire is occurring at exactly the right time and all systems are operating in the green. If SpaceX can not insert a static light into the April 4th window, it will probably be 0%. In both cases, we can expect SpaceX to provide an updated launch window or rough estimate today, especially if the static fire test is successful.

Meanwhile, drone ship Of course I still love you (OCISLY), accompanied by a tug, is approaching nearly 1,000 km from the Atlantic Ocean to prepare for the recovery attempt of Falcon Heavy's core core. In other words, it will probably be the fastest and the farthest a SpaceX booster has ever traveled while trying to land. For the first time at the launch of Falcon Heavy, both boosters will attempt to return to Landing Zones 1 and 2 (LZ-1 and LZ-2) approximately 8 to 10 minutes after take-off. The Lockheed Martin-built Arabsat 6A satellite, with a capacity of 6,000 kg (about 13,200 lb), will be the first commercial payload of the rocket, probably in a high-energy geostationary transfer orbit.

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