SpaceX First Moon Launch: SpaceX Completed Its 1st Moon Launch With A Reusable Rocket

The Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX is now the first in history to send a spacecraft to the Moon using recycled parts. It is being named SpaceX First Moon Launch.

SpaceX First Moon Launch

SpaceX first Moon Launch
KPLO’s flight-proven Falcon 9 booster and fairing. (Credit – Teslarati)

SpaceX used Spacecraft in its first moon launch. That spacecraft is the KPLO or Danuri, a Moon orbiter built entirely domestically in South Korea. KPLO will be South Korea’s first mission beyond Earth orbit and, if successful, could make it the eighth nation in history to reach orbit around another planetary body.

(More on SpaceX broke its 2021 record with the 32nd launch of the year Here)

(More on Elon Musk Mars Mission to change the living planet for millions of humans by 2050s Here)

The Significance Of This Spacecraft

It weighs about 678 kilograms (about 1500 lb) and is about the size of a small car. According to representatives of South Korea’s Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), the Moon orbiter is just the beginning of the nation’s aspirations, which it hopes will eventually include trips to the surface of the moon, asteroids, and perhaps Mars.

Only six months had passed after SpaceX’s first commercial reuse of the rocket’s reusable first stage when South Korea decided to launch KPLO by 2020. (booster). Five years later, the launch of a brand-new Falcon booster is a significant and infrequent occurrence, and the business has developed payload fairing recovery and reuse into a standard and usual procedure.

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How Was This Mission So Different?

In the KPLO mission, a spacecraft was launched to the Moon using a previously used rocket for the first time in spaceflight history.

KPLO was chosen by SpaceX to be launched on the sixth Falcon 9 booster B1052 flight, and the company was also successful in persuading KARI to choose a reused payload fairing, which saved the organization money and showed how well-liked even Falcon fairing reuse has become.

An overview of KPLO’s instruments.(KARI)

What Will Happen To The KPLO After Launch?

The KPLO fairing halves soared for the fourth time during the Moon launch and will be retrieved for use in the future after splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean.

Given that SpaceX has launched three other boosters 13 times and plans to launch each booster at least 15 times, B1052 of the Falcon will likely have an even longer lifespan.

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What’s The Trajectory Of KPLO?

In December 2022, KPLO should be in the proper position to enter lunar orbit thanks to its effective “ballistic lunar trajectory,” or BLT, which will take it on a tortuous, multi-month trek around an Earth-Sun Lagrange point.

Why Was KARI Used Instead Of Falcon 9?

Although the Falcon 9 is more than capable of launching KPLO directly to the Moon on a trans-lunar injection (TLI) trajectory, KARI decided to switch to a BLT trajectory late in the development process, saving about 165 meters per second of delta V that can be used to significantly increase the orbiter’s useful longevity around the Moon.

What Is The Objective Of KPLO?

(credit – Teslarati)

The primary objective of KPLO is to image the Moon with multiple cameras and scout a landing site for a future South Korean Moon lander. However, it is also expected to advance planetary science and deepen human knowledge of Earth’s nearest neighbor.

For determining the amount of water ice concealed in the permanently shaded areas of the Moon, NASA’s ShadowCam equipment may be crucial. On the lunar surface, water ice reserves could one day be extracted and used as rocket fuel.

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