LIVE: SpaceX launches Transporter 2 mission

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Reuters 30 June, 2021 - 02:19pm 63 views

What time is spacex launch today?

Launch Time: 2:56 p.m. Launch Complex: 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Trajectory: Southeast. WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlandoWayward helicopter delays SpaceX rocket launch from Cape Canaveral, Elon Musk says

SpaceX launches ride-sharing rocket a day after helicopter causes scrub

WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlando 30 June, 2021 - 04:47pm

A Falcon 9 blasted off at 3:31 p.m. from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station Launch Complex 40 with the Transporter-2 mission. The ride-sharing flight includes 85 spacecraft from various companies and research institutions as well as three SpaceX Starlink satellites.

After completing its job of delivering the second stage to orbit, the rocket booster separated, flipped around and came back down successfully landing about 5 miles from the launchpad at Landing Zone 1. It marked the first land booster return for SpaceX since December. The company normally lands its 162-foot-tall boosters at sea on autonomous drone ships.

Cloud cover surrounded the launch and landing but SpaceX was able to “thread the needle,” sending up its rocket through the cloudy sky. SpaceX pushed the liftoff time by about 30 minutes as it waited for the weather to cooperate.

SpaceX’s first launch attempt was scrubbed Tuesday after a helicopter violated the Federal Aviation Administration no-fly zone around the pad.

“A privately operated helicopter violated a restricted area in the final seconds before a scheduled launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida this afternoon,” the FAA said in a statement. “Air traffic controllers immediately directed the pilot to leave the area. For safety and security reasons, the launch was scrubbed.”

SONIC BOOM: Large @PortCanaveral crowd is thrilled watching the first #SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket booster to land at the Cape this year. @news6wkmg @SpaceX @elonmusk pic.twitter.com/QvXadLklo1

The FAA is investigating the incident and SpaceX founder Elon Musk voiced his displeasure after the delay and FAA regulations.

Musk posted on Twitter the “keep out zone ... is unreasonably gigantic.”

“There is simply no way that humanity can become a spacefaring civilization without major regulatory reform,” Musk added in a follow-up tweet. “The current regulatory system is broken.”

Several witnesses reported a helicopter near Jetty Park, a popular launch viewing spot on the Space Coast, flying along the coast within an hour of the liftoff window.

The FAA, the U.S. Coast Guard and Space Launch 45 issue restrictions ahead of launches on the Eastern Range for boaters and aircraft. For SpaceX’s astronaut launch last summer, the FAA issued 30-nautical-mile no-fly zone which was larger than normal.

Boaters on Tuesday were asked to avoid the launch hazard area about 19 miles south of the launch pad. Flight restrictions around the pad normally begin about two hours ahead of a planned launch.

The pilot of the wayward helicopter who flew within the keep-out zone could face fines.

News 6 has requested more information from the FAA on the investigation.

Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.

Emilee is a digital journalist for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com, where she writes about space and Central Florida news. Emilee hosts the Edward R. Murrow Award-winning podcast Space Curious. Previously, she was a space writer and web editor for the Orlando Sentinel and a web producer at the Naples Daily News.

SpaceX Super Heavy booster reaches full height as Elon Musk talks orbit

Teslarati 30 June, 2021 - 04:55am

Just a few days after CEO Elon Musk said that SpaceX’s first true Super Heavy prototype was “almost done,” the booster has been stacked to its full height.

Standing more than 65 meters (~215 ft) tall, Super Heavy Booster 3 (B3) assembly is now just a few major welds away from completion after SpaceX teams mated the final two sections of its propellant tanks and structure. Assembled separately out of approximately 12 barrel sections each made up of 2-4 steel rings, Booster 3’s methane tank (13 rings) and oxygen tank (23 rings) were stacked together on June 29th, just over six weeks after the process began.

Super Heavy Booster B3 is being stacked in the high bay. 🤩🚀@NASASpaceflight pic.twitter.com/v8dbNUySRR

Booster 3 is fully stacked in the High Bay! pic.twitter.com/uYw95SvzxS

Earlier the same day, speaking at the 2021 Mobile World Congress, Musk confirmed what was now fairly clear to most observers, stating that SpaceX is “going to do its best” to complete Starship’s first orbital (or, at least, space) launch attempt “in the next few months.” In other words, a several-month-old launch target of no later than July 2021 is most likely out of reach despite a strong effort from SpaceX.

The most significant technical hurdles still in the way involve a few incremental Starship milestones and, more importantly, the qualification of the largest and most powerful rocket booster ever built. Standing almost as tall as an entire two-stage Falcon 9 or Falcon Heavy, Super Heavy is expected to weigh more than 3500 tons (~7.7 million lbs) and produce at least ~5000 tons (~11 million lbf) of thrust at liftoff – more than any other rocket booster in history, liquid or solid.

Borrowing heavily from Starship, Super Heavy is mostly built with the same techniques out of the same steel rings, stringers, and structures, save for a few booster-specific components. However, Super Heavy is also designed to use 29-32 Raptor engines while the most SpaceX has ever simultaneously installed, tested, or flown is three. In other words, while Super Heavy is in many ways simpler than Starship, it will still be treading plenty of new ground when it heads to the launch pad for the first time.

Plenty of final integration tasks remain before Super Heavy B3 will be ready to start qualification testing but SpaceX could feasibly be ready to roll the booster to the launch site within the next week or two. Once installed on a former Starship launch mount that’s been customized for booster testing, Super Heavy will likely be put through its first cryogenic proof and static fire test(s) to verify that the massive rocket is performing as expected. The static fire process could be fairly lengthy if SpaceX decides to incrementally increase the number of Raptor engines installed.

In the likely event that Booster 3 begins testing without engines installed, SpaceX will also have to go through the process of installing up to 29 Raptors while Super Heavy is sitting out in the elements on a launch mount. Based on experience with Starship, installing that many engines in situ could take at least several days – and maybe longer. All told, the fun is only just beginning.

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