SpaceX targets again the Falcon 9 launch of the PAZ satellite to low Earth orbit on February 22 from Space Launch Complex 4 East at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. SpaceX successfully launched Falcon 9 rocket with experimental SpaceX Starlink Internet satellite after yesterday’s launch was axed due to strong upper-level winds.
First two Starlink demo satellites, called Tintin A & B, deployed and communicating to Earth stations pic.twitter.com/TfI53wHEtz
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 22, 2018
The exact launch time was at 6:17 am PST (7:47 pm IST). After the launch, the satellite is deployed exact eleven minutes after. SpaceX’s experimental Starlink satellite launch aims to offer internet across the globe at an accessible price. Along with, the rocket also carried Hisdesat’s satellite which was equipped with an advanced radar instrument designed for high flexibility which is capable of several different image configurations in numerous modes.
SpaceX noted, “It will be able to generate images with up to 25 cm resolution, day and night and regardless of the meteorological conditions.” It further claimed, “it is a mission for five and a half years, PAZ will orbit Earth 15 times per day, and will cover an area of over 300,000 square kilometers from an altitude of 514 kilometers and a velocity of seven kilometers per second.” It is expected that PAZ will cover the entire globe in 24 hours to serve both government and commercial needs.
SpaceX will not attempt to recover Falcon 9’s first stage after launch. – SpaceX
The new Falcon 9 rocket will also carry two test satellites from SpaceX for global broadband satellite Internet service with an aim to offer broadband internet at affordable across the globe.
The two SpaceX satellite-internet prototypes are known as Microsat-2a and Microsat-2b. These experimental crafts will help to get SpaceX’s Starlink satellite-internet constellation off the ground. Praderio said- “If the system works successfully then it would provide people in low to moderate population densities around the world with accessible high-speed internet access, including many who have never had internet access before.”
SpaceX has announced the presence of Microsat-2a and Microsat-2b on today’s mission, on February 21. Today’s launch showcased SpaceX’s progress on that path: the liftoff was the ninth involving a used Falcon 9 first stage.
The space company also tried covering the fairing – the bulbous nose cone on top of the rocket – using a high-speed boat known as “Mr. Steven.” Before the launch Musk claimed that the fairing returns to Earth “at about eight times the speed of sound.” Musk tweeted after the launch the boat missed catching the fairing “by a few hundred meters, he added that “the fairing slowed down enough to land intact in the Pacific Ocean.” But ultimately Space X missed the fairing with the net on Mr. Steven, but it was close enough, as according to Musk. Additional photos from the deck of the boat were shared after launch, as we can see half of the fairing is seen floating on the waters of the Pacific Ocean, “no apparent damage from reentry and splashdown.”- Musk tweeted.