— 18 July 2018
MERRITT ISLAND NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE/CANAVERAL
NATIONAL SEASHORE, FL – On a blistering hot day, SpaceX finally completed a successful
static hot fire test of their newly upgraded Falcon 9 booster late this
afternoon after drenching rain squalls and thunder claps inundated Cape
Canaveral and delayed the critical test – thereby paving the path for an overnight
Florida launch this weekend July 22 of the Telstar 19 comsat.
Liftoff of the Telstar 19 VANTAGE
communications satellite is targeted for the middle-of-the-night at 1:50 a.m.
EDT (0550 GMT) Sunday, July 22. The four-hour long launch window extends until
5:50 a.m. EDT (0950 GMT).
Telstar 19 VANTAGE is an advanced high throughput satellite (HTS)
built for Telesat, one of the world’s leading satellite operators.
Check out our exclusive Space UpClose photos of the hot fire test.
brief static hot fire engine test using only the 2nd manufactured Block
5 upgraded booster version of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket occurred at 5:01 p.m. Wednesday,
July 18 – and involved the ignition of all nine Merlin 1D first stage engines
at Space launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL.
place at 5:00 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT), it was a full hour beyond the time when the test
window officially supposedly closed at 4 p.m. ET. According to sources, the test window officially
ran for 6 hours; from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
the Eastern Range managed to find a way to extend the test window amidst some truly
grim and drastic weather which suddenly swept away the shiny sunshine state in
less then 30 minutes time this afternoon – and after no venting of the rocket
was visible all day which is a visible sign that the propellent loading is
was conducted with scattered light rain still falling and distant thunder still
morning launch on Sunday, July 22 of Telstar 19 VANTAGE from Pad 40 in Florida,”
spectacular and possibly can be enjoyed by families with children too since there
is no school the next day.
be awoken anyway by the rockets rumbling roar !
only the 2nd one for the new Block 5 version.
easier to turnaround with minimal maintenance, says SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. His
goal is to relaunch a recovered Block 5 a second time within 24 hours by
sometime next year.
the Falcon 9 booster which replacing the older, now discontinued Block 4.
Dragon CRS-15 resupply mission to the ISS.
Long exposure streak shot of
spectacularly beautiful and successful launch of SpaceX Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape
Canaveral Air Force. It is Dragon CRS-15 Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
static fire test is routinely carried by SpaceX to ensure all is ready with the
engines were ignited for several seconds.
fire test, the rocket’s first and second stages are fueled with liquid oxygen
and RP-1 propellants just like an actual launch, and a simulated countdown is
carried out to the point of a brief engine ignition.
weather conditions it was difficult to anything until the sudden moment of
ignition and the exhaust plume shooting out the flame trench to the north.
down engine test with the erected Falcon 9 rocket involved the ignition of all
nine Merlin 1D first stage engines generating some 1.7 million pounds of thrust
at pad 40 while the two stage rocket was restrained on the pad – minus the Telstar
19 payload to keep it safe in case of a mishap.
last for about three seconds and generated a sudden and huge exhaust plume of
white smoke and steam rushing out of the ocean facing flame trench.
minutes. It was somewhat surprising and
quite lucky that the stormy weather drifted away sufficiently for just enough
time to conduct the required test – nut after the nominal window ended and had
to be extended.
rolled back down the ramp and returned to the pad 40 hanger to attach
the Telstar 19 spacecraft.
Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK and more space and mission reports direct
from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida and
Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia.
Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human
spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com
–www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com
SpaceX Telstar 19, SpaceX Falcon 9/CRS-15
launch to ISS, SES-12 comsat launch, Falcon Heavy, TESS, GOES-S, Bangabandhu-1,
NASA missions, ULA Atlas & Delta launches, SpySats and more at Ken’s
upcoming outreach events at Kennedy Space Center Quality Inn, Titusville, FL,
20/21: “SpaceX Telstar 19
Launch, SpaceX Dragon CRS-15 resupply launch to ISS, SpaceX Falcon Heavy &
Falcon 9 launches, SpaceX SES-12 comsat. ULA Atlas USAF SBIRS GEO 4 missile
warning satellite, SpaceX GovSat-1, CRS-14 resupply launches to the ISS, NRO
& USAF Spysats, SLS, Orion, Boeing and SpaceX Commercial crew capsules,
OSIRIS-Rex, Juno at Jupiter, InSight Mars lander, Curiosity and Opportunity
explore Mars, NH at Pluto and more,” Kennedy Space Center Quality Inn,
Titusville, FL, evenings. Photos for
|Telstar 19 VANTAGE comsat|
Pad 40 sits empty prior to erection of SpaceX Falcon 9 booster.
Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com