SpaceX broke many records on the Starlink Group 3-2 mission and Elon musk broke record for satellite launching. Launching from Space begin Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) at the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, the Falcon 9 Block 5 placed 46 Starlink internet communication satellites into the 3rd shell of the constellation.
Elon Musk Broke Record of 2021
Liftoff was managed and scheduled for July 21, 2022, at 10:39 AM PDT (17:39 UTC) but the countdown was aborted at T- 46 seconds due to a valve sensor reading on the first phase. Begin successfully occurred at the same time on July 22, marking SpaceX’s 32nd launch of 2022.
This break SpaceX’s 2021 record of most launches in a year when they launched 31 times. With the eventual aim of being able to turn around SLC-4E as quickly as SLC-40 in Florida, SpaceX has been making a great and large number of upgrades to the Transporter/Erector (T/E) and pad infrastructure at pad 4E. The T/E is answerable for transitioning the Falcon 9 vehicle from horizontal to vertical. Once vertical, it supplies the vehicle and payload with structural support, power and telemetry, and is used to fuel the vehicle through the Quick Disconnects (QDs).
Unlike the T/E at SpaceX’s other two Falcon 9 beginning sites—LC-39A and SLC-40—SLC-4E utilizes an older design:
the strong back falls 13º aside from the rocket, starting at T-4 minutes, and is finished moving by T-3 minutes.
From that position, the T/E does not move further and remains stationary while liftoff. This is drastically dissimilar from the “throwback” T/E style, which proceeds just under 2º away from the vehicle at roughly T-4 minutes, then falls the endure distance from the vehicle (~45º) after liftoff.
By falling away forward from the vehicle after liftoff, the T/E further affront the Falcon 9’s exhaust, lessening the amount of refurbishment needed betwixt launches. LC-39A has accented the throwback style T/E since SpaceX’s first launch from the pad (CRS-10), and SLC-40’s T/E was upgraded to the throwback style following AMOS-6. Though, SpaceX currently has no idea or plans to swap out SLC-4E’s T/E for a throwback style T/E.
SpaceX’s upgrades to SLC-4E have allowed for drastically decreased turnaround time
between launches to just 11 days and 16 hours betwixt Starlink Group 3-1 and Starlink Group 3-2. The earlier record was 22 days, 11 hours, and 20 minutes betwixt SARah-1 and Starlink Group 3-1. This too marks the fastest turnaround time for a non-throwback T/E.
The booster holdup this mission is B1071-4, which has flown three earlier missions. This launch marks the 166th launch of the Falcon 9 and the 104th beginning with a flight-proven booster B1071-4 landed on SpaceX’s West coast Autonomous Spaceport
Drone Ship (ASDS) Of Course I Still Love You (OCISLY), Stationed 635 km downscale. As usual for West coast launches, OCISLY was towed downscale by
Scorpius and GO Quest are serving as ASDS support. Upon the victorious adding—which noticeable in SpaceX’s 132nd overall and 58th consecutive booster landing—the booster’s designation changed to B1071-5.
SpaceX will attempt to recover both fairing halves with their recovery asset NRC Quest 635 km downscale. Both fairings will be recovered from the water ~50 minutes after beginning.
The Starlink Group 3-2 mission lofted another 46 satellites into the 3rd shell of the Starlink constellation. Assume none of the satellites fail, this will take shell 3 to 27.3% completion (in terms of working satellites) and the overall completion of the 1st five shells of Starlink deployments to 59.32%.
Assuming SpaceX holds its recent launch cadence, it is expected the company will end shells 3 and 4 by the end of the year, as shell 3 will need about eight launches to fill, and shell 4 will require about 32 launches to fill. After these two shells are finished, it is unclear whether SpaceX will prioritize the 70° tendency Shell 2 or the polar orbiting Shell 5. SpaceX is currently offering many Starlink packages,
involving Starlink for home, business, RV, and marine. In addition to the services already being offered, De Havilland Aircraft of Canada declared they are partnering with SpaceX to offer high-speed internet on their aircraft thanks to Starlink
Given the “go” by the technical go/no-go poll at T-38 minutes, Falcon 9 began its fueling sequence at T35 minutes when the vehicle begin to load sub-cooled RP-1 on both stages and super chilled liquid oxygen (LOX) on the first stage.
By T-20 minutes Falcon 9’s 2nd stage is fully fueled with RP-1, and the T/E is purged to prepare for LOX loading on the 2nd stage. Overdue to the significantly cooler temperature of LOX, it is loaded after RP-1 on the 2nd stage to minimize boiloff/expansion.
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