Kremer — SpaceUpClose.com &
RocketSTEM — 21 February 2019
CAPE CANAVERAL, FL – We are GO for the Moon ! A SpaceX Falcon 9
roared to orbit tonight on a spectacular nighttime streak of fire carrying the first ever
commercial lunar lander for Israel, a commercial telecommunications satellite for
Indonesia and an experimental surveillance satellite for the U.S. Air Force.
thunderous liftoff simultaneously counts as the first blastoff of 2019 from the
Florida Space Coast and terminated a two month long ‘launch drought.’
of the recycled SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying the Nusantara Satu communications
satellite for Indonesia and the privately funded ‘Beresheet’ moon launder for
Israel took place right on time Thursday evening Feb. 21 at 8:45 p.m. EST (0145 GMT Friday) at the opening of the 32 minute long launch window
Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL.
To date only three countries have successfully
landed on the Moon- the US, Russia and China and those were all government run
‘Beresheet’ was developed at a cost of almost $100
million and will be the world’s first privately funded and developed moon
Enjoy our gallery of Space UpClose photos and check back as
the collection grows.
The countdown and
fueling proceeded by the book with no apparent issues for two stage Falcon 9 rocket which stands 229 feet (70
The stages were fueled with liquid oxygen and
RP-1 kerosene. Vigorous venting of
liquid oxygen was visible in the final minutes for both stages.
rumbled with what seemed like the loudest thunder we’ve ever experienced at the
press viewing site on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station generating 1.7 million
pounds of liftoff thrust from the power of 9 Merlin 1-D engines.
of the first stage, separation of stages, ignition of the second stage and jettisoning
of the payload fairing.
The flames from the launch were easily visible
for more than four minutes under pristine weather conditions and virtually
cloud free and calm skies.
of the Falcon 9 first stage as it landed on the OCISLY droneship some 400 miles
(640 km) offshore of Florida’s east coast.
Making the event even more dramatic was the fact
that the nearly full moon was rising above the horizon just as the spent first stage
plummeted just to the right of the orange colored moon – and as the second stage
was simultaneously propelling the Israeli probe on a trajectory towards the
moon for the worlds first privately funded lunar landing mission in less than two
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.
Nusantara Satu was delivered to the intended orbit on the
way to geostationary orbit. It carries the other two satellites attached as rideshare
Also noteworthy is that this mission launched on
a ‘flight-proven’ Falcon 9 booster. In fact this flight marked 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 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
All deployments occurred as planned.
The first satellite deployed was the Israeli Beresheet
probe bolted on top of Nusantara Satu at 33 minutes after liftoff.
lunar lander provided by Israeli nonprofit SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace
Industries (IAI) for launch on SpaceX Falcon 9 on Feb 21, 2019. Credit Space
Acquisition of signal is confirmed from the Beresheet lunar
lander and all four landing legs have deployed successfully, the SpaceIL team
data from #Beresheet &
deployed its landing legs as expected” SpaceIL tweeted.
successfully disengaged from the SpaceX Falcon 9 at around 60,000 kilometers
above Earth’s surface, beginning, under its own power, a two-month voyage to
the Moon’s surface. Beresheet communicated for the first time with the
mission’s control center in Yehud, Israel, at 9:23 p.m. ET, and the
spacecraft’s legs deployed two minutes later, the SpaceIL team said in a
“As of Friday morning,
the spacecraft was 69,400 km above Earth, and is starting its way back to begin
its first orbit around Earth.”
“In the meantime, the
engineers at the SpaceIL and IAI control room have been conducting many
in-orbit tests, and have identified high sensitivity to blinding by the sun’s
rays in the star trackers, though this issue is being checked.”
Beresheet moon lander mission timeline and trajectory
trajectory to begin a series of 4 elongating long looping orbits to gradually
reach the moon.
Landing is expected on April 11 if all goes well.
Beresheet, where in Hebrew
means “genesis” or “in the beginning” was one of the competitors for the now
defunct Google Lunar XPrize.
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 and thruster. 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 with a
magnetrometer and laser retroreflector.
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.
diameter and 1.5 meters in height.
The spent Falcon 9 first stage successfully touched down on
OCISLY droneship 8 minutes after launch.
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.
on I24 Isreali TV News here:
For more all on this
Fox 35 Orlando interviewed me about the Nusantara Satu/Beresheet moon
lander launch and Mr. Steven’s arrival and fairing recovery
Ken Kremer/Space UpClose interviewed on Fox 35 TV News Orlando about SpaceX Mr.
Steven boat and payload fairing recovery goals. Credit: Fox 35/Ken Kremer
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:
22/28: “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