SpaceX rocket launch carrying 88 satellites delayed by a wayward plane

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Space.com 29 June, 2021 - 02:33pm 57 views

What time is spacex launch today?

Launch Time: 2:56 p.m. Launch Complex: 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Trajectory: Southeast. Landing: Landing Zone 1. WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlandoWayward helicopter delays SpaceX rocket launch from Cape Canaveral, Elon Musk says

Though loud enough to rattle windows and startle spectators, studies by NASA and others have shown sonic booms are not dangerous.

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A rarely heard cannonade of sonic booms will reverberate across the Space Coast on Tuesday, the result of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch and subsequent landing at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

After a 2:56 p.m. liftoff from Launch Complex 40, the rocket's 162-foot booster will separate from the payload-hauling second stage, flip around, and begin an autonomous descent toward nearby Landing Zone 1. Though it will have flown to an altitude hundreds of thousands of feet above Earth's surface, the booster will touch down just 5 1/2 miles from where it started.

It's been a while since residents and spectators were startled by sonic booms – the last time a Falcon 9 booster returned to the Cape for a local landing was in December. That mission took a classified National Reconnaissance Office payload to low-Earth orbit.

Sonic booms are generated when an aircraft or rocket approaches the speed-of-sound barrier during acceleration or deceleration. Falcon 9's booms aren't heard during ascent due to its altitude, but its landing booms are generated just over the Cape as it fires its Merlin engines to slow down.

"There is a possibility that residents of Brevard, Orange, Osceola, Indian River, Seminole, Volusia, Polk, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties may hear one or more sonic booms during the landing," SpaceX said in a warning statement Monday. "But what residents experience will depend on weather and other conditions."

Falcon 9 sonic booms during landing

From bottom to top, Falcon 9 generates three sonic booms during its descent: first, the Merlin main engines, then the black landing legs, and finally, the titanium grid finds used to steer the rocket. Though some spectators close to the landing pad might be able to make out two or even all three booms, most will only hear one large rumble by the time it reaches their location.

Though loud enough to rattle windows and startle spectators, studies – including some authored by NASA and Air Force researchers – have shown sonic booms are not dangerous. 

Booms used to be much more common on the Space Coast. Returning space shuttles would break through the sound barrier during their approach to Kennedy Space Center's former Shuttle Landing Facility, generating booms that could be heard as far away as Florida's west coast.

Tuesday, just two vehicles generate sonic booms during descent: Falcon 9 and X-37B, a secretive Boeing spaceplane operated by the Space Force that stays in low-Earth orbit years at a time. Hearing unscheduled booms is often a sign that X-37B has returned to the SLF, now called the Launch and Landing Facility.

Tuesday will see SpaceX fly its second Transporter mission, a service that allows several organizations to split launch costs by flying smaller spacecraft in one Falcon 9 payload fairing. The first Transporter flight broke records in January with a whopping 143 spacecraft, while Tuesday's launch will include 88 total payloads.

Transporter-2 has another treat in store for Florida: unlike most missions that fly toward the northeast or even straight out east over the Atlantic, Falcon 9 will rapidly gimbal its engines after launch and turn toward the south on a kind of polar trajectory known as sun-synchronous. If conditions are clear enough, the launch could be visible to residents well into South Florida.

Weather, meanwhile, should be 80% "go" for liftoff during the eight-minute window, according to the Space Force.

"Tuesday should continue the favorable conditions at the spaceport with morning coastal showers, but afternoon convection will remain mostly inland," Space Launch Delta 45 forecasters said Monday. "The primary concerns are the cumulus and anvil cloud rules associated with inland thunderstorm activity."

For the latest, visit floridatoday.com/launchschedule.

© 2021 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC.

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Watch a SpaceX rocket ace landing on a drone ship in stunning new video

Space.com 29 June, 2021 - 05:12pm

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Aircraft forces SpaceX to scrub mission launch from Florida

WFLA 29 June, 2021 - 05:12pm

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (WFLA) — With 11 seconds left before liftoff, SpaceX was forced to scrub Tuesday’s scheduled launch of its Transporter-2 mission due to an aircraft in the area.

Tuesday’s launch window opened at 2:56 p.m. ET. The window was set to be open for 58 minutes. SpaceX started counting down to liftoff but then scrubbed the launch when the countdown reached T-11 seconds.

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk tweeted shortly after to say the scrub was due to an aircraft. He also voiced his frustrations about the aircraft that entered the “keep out zone,” which Musk described as “unreasonably gigantic.”

“There is simply no way that humanity can become a spacefaring civilization without major regulatory reform,” he said. “The current regulatory system is broken.”

A backup launch window will now open at 2:56 p.m. ET Wednesday.

The Transporter-2 mission is SpaceX’s second dedicated SmallSat Rideshare Program mission. It will launch on a Falcon 9 booster.

According to SpaceX, this mission will send 85 commercial and government spacecraft into orbit, including CubeSats, microsats and orbital transfer vehicles. Three Starlink satellites will also be on board.

After launch, SpaceX will attempt to the first stage of Falcon 9 on a landing zone at Cape Canaveral.

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SURFSIDE, Fla. (AP) — Prosecutors in Florida will pursue a grand jury investigation into the deadly collapse of an oceanfront condominium building, officials said Tuesday.

Miami-Dade County Daniella Levine Cava said at a news conference that she fully supports such an investigation. State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said she would bring the matter before grand jurors soon.

The recommendation in the nation’s most populous county is aimed at preventing the spread of the highly transmissible delta variant of the coronavirus.

The sheriff's office case "is still open," according to a public information officer.

Aircraft in no-fly zone scrubs Tuesday's SpaceX launch; Wednesday is next attempt

FOX 35 Orlando 29 June, 2021 - 05:29am

SpaceX aborted its mission on Tuesday, saying an aircraft was spotted in the no-fly zone near the Falcon 9.

It was a no-go for launch Tuesday afternoon for SpaceX. 

With just 11 seconds on the clock, the launch was scrubbed. 

The announcer on SpaceX's livestream said an aircraft may have been in the vicinity of the Falcon 9 rocket. 

SpaceX tweeted, "Hold called due to Range being no-go; teams are setting up for tomorrow's backup opportunity [sic]"

Elon Musk confirmed that an aircraft was in the no-fly zone.

SpaceX will try again on Wednesday at around the same time for launch, which was supposed to be 2:56 p.m.

If it does, the rocket's booster will land back at the Cape, not on a barge, which is more common.

The landing will cause a sonic boom, which you may hear and feel in Central Florida.

The Transporter 2 mission is expected to carry 88 small satellites into orbit.

When the launch happens, you can watch it live by downloading the FOX 35 News App. Download for iOS or Android

Watch FOX 35 News for the latest space updates.

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