Kremer — SpaceUpClose.com &
RocketSTEM — 20 February 2019
set to end Thursday evening with the blastoff of a recycled SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying an eclectic
mix of large and small payloads including a commercial Indonesian
telecommunications satellite, a private Israeli lunar lander and an experimental
satellite for the U.S. Air Force.
of the first SpaceX Falcon 9 of 2019 carrying the Nusantara Satu
communications satellite for Indonesia and the privately funded Beresheet moon launder
for Israel is slated
for Thursday evening Feb. 21 at 8:45 p.m. EST (0145 GMT
Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL.
Nusantara Satu will be delivered to geostationary orbit. It
carries the other two satellites attached as rideshare payloads.
Also noteworthy is that this mission will launch
on a ‘flight-proven’ Falcon 9 booster. In fact this flight will mark the first
thrice flown Falcon 9 booster launched from the US East Coast.
This booster previously launched the Iridium-7
mission in July 2018 and the SAOCOM 1A mission in October 2018.
SpaceX recently launched the first ever thrice
flown Falcon 9 from the US West Coast last December from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Ca.
The Falcon 9 launch window lasts for 32 minutes
and extends from 8:45 p.m. to 9:17 p.m. EST Feb 21.
You can watch the launch on a SpaceX dedicated
webcast that starts about 15 minutes prior to the opening of the nominal
Currently the weather outlook for Thursday
evening is rather favorable – currently forecast as 80% GO !!
In case of a delay for any reason, a backup
launch opportunity exists on Friday, Feb 22.
The weather remains at 80% GO.
The primary concerns are for the Thick Cloud
Layer Rule and the Cumulus Cloud Rule.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying GPS III SV01 lifts
off from Space Launch Complex 40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida,
Dec. 23, 2018 for the USAF. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
primary payload is the Nusantara Satu telecommunications satellite for
PT Pasifik Satelit Nusantara (PSN), a leading Asian provider of satellite-based
telecommunication services. It was previously called PSN 6 and will be stationed
at 146 degrees East some 20,000 miles (36,000 kilometers) above the equator.
The 2.5 ton Nusantara Satu comsat was built by prime
contractor SSL based on the SSL
1300 series platform. It is Indonesia’s first high-throughput satellite that will
serve to improve internet connectivity in the region.
“The Nusantara Satu satellite is a very important
infrastructure for Indonesia. As the first Indonesian High Throughput
Satellite, it is another monumental step for PSN to realize its dream and carry
on its commitment to provide broadband services across the vast archipelago of
Indonesia,” said Adi
Rahman Adiwoso, CEO of PSN.
PSN has selected SSL, a Maxar Technologies company, since both companies share
an aligned goal of bringing far-reaching technology to improve lives and create
new opportunities for economic growth in remote regions.”
“Additionally, the satellite’s C-band and Ku band transponders
will be used for voice and data communications and video distribution
throughout the Indonesian archipelago. In order to bring a secondary payload to
orbit, SSL designed Nusantara Satu using its next-generation electric
propulsion system. The launch demonstrates SSL’s ability to take small
rideshare satellites to geostationary orbit efficiently and economically.”
Nusantara Satu weighs 4,700
kg and has a 15 year design lifetime. It cost approximately $230 million.
lunar lander provided by Israeli nonprofit SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace
Industries (IAI) for launch on SpaceX Falcon 9 on Feb 21, 2019. Credit Space
lunar lander provided by Israeli nonprofit SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace
Industries (IAI) and marks Israel’s first lunar mission and as being the
world’s first privately funded lunar mission.
It was developed at a cost of almost $100
To date only three countries have successfully
landed on the Moon- the US, Russia and China.
Beresheet, where in Hebrew
means “in the beginning” was one of the competitors for the now defunct Google
If successful it will be
the smallest spacecraft to ever land on the Moon, at only 1,322 lbs, or 600
kgs, fueled. The probe has
an unfueled mass of 180 kg.
Upon deployment from
the top of Nusantara Satu 33 minutes after liftoff it will travel to the Moon
using its own power. The voyage will
take about two months over several expanding elliptical orbits –
for the longest ever trip to Earth’s nearest neighbor covering
a total distance of 6.5 million km.
achieve orbit on April 4. If all goes well lunar touchdown is scheduled for
April 11 at Mare Serenitatis.
It will transmit photos
and video from the lunar surface and conduct scientific measurements.
Beresheet has a lifetime of about 2 days. There
is no thermal control. The team hopes to make it hop about 500 m before it dies.
The moon probe measures 2 meters (6.6 ft) in
diameter and 1.5 meters in height.
|Beresheet mission timeline|
The Falcon 9 will launch in the upgraded Block 5
version and SpaceX will try to recover both the first stage booster and the nose
cones – both at sea.
The two stage Falcon 9 rocket stands 229 feet (70
meters) tall. The first stage is powered by nine Merlin 1-D engines fueled with
liquid oxygen and RP-1 kerosene and generate 1.7 million pounds of liftoff
thrust at ignition.
The first stage booster is again outfitted with four
grid fins and four landing legs installed on the 15 story tall first stage.
SpaceX will attempt to soft land the first stage on the “Of
Course I Still Love You” droneship (OCISLY), which will be stationed about 400
miles (600 km) offshore in the Atlantic Ocean.
SpaceX will also attempt to catch the payload
fairing with the nose
cone catching ship named Mr. Steven docked in Port Canaveral, FL outfitted with
a giant ‘catchers mitt.’
This week the crew
practiced scooping up a payload fairing half with the secondary net.
The giant primary net will
try to catch falling payload fairings with the huge catchers mitt mid-air before
they are damaged by splashdown and corrosive
seawaters in the ocean. Mr. Steven arrived in port on Feb.
11, 2019 after sailing from the US West Coast.
ultimate goal is to recover and recycle the nose cone fairings for another
launch and thereby help slash the high cost of access to space.
an overall cost of about $60 million for a new Falcon 9 rocket. That’s contributing
roughly 10% and thus counts as a significant share of the overall cost.
successful hold down static fire test on Monday evening, Feb. 18.
Falcon 9 complete—targeting February 21 launch of Nusantara Satu from Pad 40 in
Florida,” SpaceX tweeted.
The next launch follows quickly on NET March
2 involving the super critical inaugural test flight of the uncrewed SpaceX Crew
Dragon on the Demo-1 mission to the International Space Station for NASA.
The Demo-1 flight is the precursor flight to
missions with astronauts aboard starting on the Demo-2 Crew Dragon later in the
summer- thus restoring America’s capability to launch Americans to space from American
soil and end out sole reliance on the Russian Soyuz capsule since the shutdown
of the shuttles.
For more all on this
Fox 35 Orlando interviewed me about the Nusantara Satu launch and Mr. Steven’s arrival and fairing recovery
Dr. Ken Kremer/Space Up Close interviewed on
Fox 35 Orlando about the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch of Nusantara Satu/Beresheet mission
and attempt to catch the nose cone with Mr. Steven maritime vessel.
Watch for Ken’s
continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin,
Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from the Kennedy
Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida and Wallops Flight
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
Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC
area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space
Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events
Learn more about the upcoming/recent SpaceX Falcon 9 Nusantara Satu launch, USAF GPS 3-01, SpaceX Falcon 9/CRS-16 launch
to ISS, NASA missions, ULA Atlas &
Delta launches, SpySats and more at Ken’s upcoming outreach events at Quality Inn Kennedy Space Center,
Titusville, FL, evenings:
20/22: “SpaceX Falcon 9 Nusantara Satu launch, Dragon CRS-16 resupply launch to ISS, SpaceX
Falcon GPS 3-01, SpaceX Falcon Heavy & Falcon 9 launches, upcoming SpaceX
Falcon 9 USAF GP3 3-01, 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, Kuiper Belt and more,”
Kennedy Space Center Quality Inn, Titusville, FL, evenings. Photos for sale
Nusantara Satu mission encapsulated inside Falcon 9 payload fairing. Credit: