Fresh from the successful summer campaign of 2018, which included a record 21 missions, SpaceX returned to the launch pad on Friday for the first mission of the new year. Open window for instantaneous startup at 10:31 ET (15:31 UTC).
This will be the eighth and final launch of SpaceX to build the constellation of 75 modern Iridium communication satellites. For this task, SpaceX will launch 10 Iridium NEXT satellites on a low earth polar orbit.
The first phase of this mission was previously flying in September when the Telstar 18 Vantage mission entered into a geostationary transmission orbit. In the Mediterranean hurricane season, landing at sea in the destination sea landed in a relatively open sea. This time, the rocket will try to land on the droneship Read the instructions in the Pacific Ocean.
In short, this should be a fairly standard mission for SpaceX, without crazy flight profiles or experimental tests. After all, the Falcon 9 rocket flew into this rough mission seven times before, and this first stage is "proven" in the sense that it has already flown once.
It is not expected that SpaceX will attempt to recover useful loads, as the company is still upgrading its process. In addition to studying data derived from earlier launches, SpaceX has fallen from a helicopter from the Californian coast and tried to catch it with the vessel. Mr. Steven. Earlier this week, the company released something pretty much closing the shots one of these tests.
After 18 missions in 2017 and 21 missions in 2018, it is not known how many missiles will start in 2019. However, it makes sense to conclude that the company will try from 16 to 20 flights Falcon 9 and two to three years Falcon Heavy.
Web uploading for the start-up attempt on Friday morning should start approximately 15 minutes before the startup window is opened. If the weather is bad (A 60% chance conditions) or a technical problem excludes a boot attempt, SpaceX has a backup window that is available on Saturday morning at 3:25 UTC.