July 23, 2024


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A double-headed SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch at the Cape on Saturday

A double-headed SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch at the Cape on Saturday

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As the wait continues to bid farewell to Delta IV Heavy, locals and spring breakers are preparing for a potential double rocket launch show on Saturday.

If all goes according to plan, two Falcon 9 rockets could soar into Florida's skies on back-to-back evening launches — something that's still a novelty.

SpaceX confirmed both launches on Friday night, after consulting the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the Federal Aviation Administration list.

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On Saturday, March 30, Eutelsat 36D, a communications satellite for Africa and Eurasia, will be launched from Kennedy Space Center's Pad 39A on a Falcon 9 rocket. An Airbus press release said that the satellite is designed to provide broadcast television and government services in Africa, Europe and the eastern countries of the world. From 15 years.

The launch is currently expected to take place at 5:52 p.m., a window of three hours and 58 minutes if necessary, with a backup opportunity on Sunday.

Later that evening, Space Wolk An attempt to launch another batch of 23 satellites from Launch Complex 40 on another Falcon 9 rocket. This launch is currently targeted for liftoff at 9:02pm with the window extended to 10pm, and backup opportunities exist starting at 7pm on Sunday.

The weather is expected to be ideal for both launches with less than a 5 percent chance of violations that would prevent liftoff, according to the Space Force's 45th Weather Squadron. The only worry: heavy clouds.

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The last time the Space Coast saw a double ramp-up was Feb. 14-15, when SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Intuitive Machines lunar lander from KSC Pad 39A, just over seven hours after the Falcon 9 rocket launched the USSF- 124 Confidentiality. National security mission from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. The Odysseus lunar lander reached the Moon, albeit in an upside-down landing, becoming the first American spacecraft to land on the Moon since the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972.

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Meanwhile, the long-awaited wait for United Launch Alliance's Delta IV Heavy vehicle to make its final flight looks set to extend over the weekend. The launch planned for 2:45 p.m. Thursday was put on hold when winds exceeded the acceptable limit on Thursday, and that's when teams noticed the failure of the gaseous nitrogen pipeline's ground pump, ULA CEO and President Tory Bruno posted on X.

The pump provides pneumatic pressure to the launch vehicle systems.

ULA said it would conduct a 24-hour turnaround, then a launch was planned for 1:37 p.m. on Friday. But Bruno later posted on the “X” website, formerly known as Twitter, that “the pump broke down again… get ready.”

Just before 8 p.m., ULA announced it would stop to continue work on the pipeline.

“The team continues to troubleshoot the pipeline, and more time is needed to instill confidence in the system,” the company said in a statement. “We will continue to work with our customers to confirm the next launch attempt and a new date will be provided upon resolution.”

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The FAA shows ULA has a launch opportunity at 1:25 PM on Monday. The launch window was four hours. However, ULA has not yet said whether it will be ready for launch on Monday. When launched, it will be the 16th flight of a Delta IV Heavy rocket and the 389th and final flight of the Delta missile program.

ULA is replacing the retired rocket with the next-generation Vulcan, which recorded a successful maiden flight in January from Cape Canaveral.

Marvin and Shelley Kendall of New York were at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on Thursday, hoping to see the final flight of the powerful three-core Delta IV Heavy rocket. Marvin works as an IT system engineer while Shelley works in the pharmaceutical field. They both said they understood the importance of STEM, so when they heard about the launch, they wanted to be there.

Their children, Marvin Kendall III, 10, Alexander Solomon, 11, and Harper Kendall, 8, stood disappointed by their parents in front of the visitor complex. “Let down,” Alexander Solomon said when asked how he felt about the Huskers.

Saturday's double flight, if launched as scheduled, could be a stunning sky-high delight for those in town.

Contact space reporter Brooke Edwards at [email protected].