Kremer — SpaceUpClose.com &
RocketSTEM – 22 June 2019
CAPE CANAVERAL/MERRITT ISLAND NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, FL – Good weather is currently forecast for the
first ever nighttime blastoff of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy just before midnight
Monday, June 24, from Florida’s Space Coast.
Air Force meteorologists with the 45th
Space Wing say the weather outlook for Monday evening is rather favorable – currently
forecast as a 70% percent chance of favorable conditions at launch time.
Liftoff of the Space Test Program-2
(STP-2) mission paid for by the Department
of Defense (DoD) and managed by the U.S Air Force Space
and Missile Systems Center (SMC) is now targeted for launch on June 24, 2019 at
11:30 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida –
following the good outcome of the hold down static fire test.
The launch window opens at 11:30 p.m. EDT and extends four
hours to 3:30 a.m. June 25.
In case of any delay the next launch opportunity is
Tuesday, June 25 with the same launch window.
Here is the detailed forecast from the 45th
Space Wing – Jun 23 update:
“An upper-level ridge over the Southeast US
will keep the shower and thunderstorm activity over Central Florida below
seasonal norms. The surface ridge axis is south of the Space Coast however,
which will keep the isolated afternoon convection along the Space Coast. This
southwesterly flow will also bring high temperatures in the 90s over the
Spaceport. The primary weather concerns for a launch attempt overnight Monday
are lingering anvil and thick layer clouds from the isolated afternoon
the upper-level ridge will begin moving east, allowing a storm system to drop
into Florida. Thus, the coverage of showers & storms will increase, while
the launch weather concerns remain the same.”
45th Weather Squadron facility
inside the Morrell Operations Center on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Credit: Ken
This 3rd launch of the SpaceX Falcon
Heavy marks the 1st ever mission of the triple stick rocket for the
US Air Force and the first reuse of previously flown boosters on the world’s most
The extremely complex mission is being conducted in joint
partnership with NASA and NOAA and will deliver two dozen military and science satellites
to a variety of orbits.
The Air Force is paying for this Falcon Heavy
mission launch and using it to certify the rocket for future launches of US
National Security missions including using reused booster hardware.
The STP-2 mission will also feature a breathtaking attempt by SpaceX to recover all 3 booster cores by land and by
after launch and the center core will touchdown at sea on the OCISLY droneship.
engineers successfully completely a critical hold down nighttime test firing of
the mammoth Falcon Heavy, shortly before midnight Wednesday, June 19 – thereby paving
the path for the first ever nighttime blastoff of the beast generating 5
million pounds of thrust on what is certain to be an absolutely magnificent spectacle
on Florida’s Space Coast Monday evening June 24.
The Falcon Heavy will deliver 24 science and military satellites
to space on the first ever mission for the DOD that also includes four
satellites for NASA and more for NOAA, a number of
Universities, Industry and one for the Planetary Society.
inclinations as the second stage is fired for a record 4 separate times in
another test of its capabilities.
investigating technologies that will help improve future spacecraft design and
performance in space.
Space Test Program-2 flight include:
interplanetary navigation that could change how we navigate on the Moon, to
Mars and beyond,
four experiments to help will reveal the ways local space weather affects
green propulsion system could
take the small satellite revolution beyond what it is today, and
that interfere with GPS and communications signals.
sponsoring the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology Ionosphere &
Climate-2, or COSMIC-2 system– a
constellation of 6 satellites.
three Falcon 9 cores. The center core is new and plumbed differently from the twin
pair of side cores – which are recycled from the Arabsat 6A launch in mid-
The Falcon Heavy measures 229.6 feet (70 m)
tall and 39.9 feet (12.6 m) wide with a mass of 3,125,735 lb
Watch my commentary about the Falcon Heavy
launch at News 6 Orlando here:
Kremer/Space UpClose interviewed by CBS 6 Orlando TV News WKMG on June 19, 2019
about the Falcon Heavy STP-2 launch targeted for June 24. Credit: CBS 6
WKMG/Ken Kremer screenshot
for liive coverage of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy STP-2 launch.
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 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
Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the
KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about
Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events
Ken’s upcoming outreach events:
FL, evenings. Learn more about the upcoming/recent Falcon Heavy, NASA 2024 Moon landing
goal, SpaceX Starlink-1, SpaceX Falcon 9/CRS-17
launch to ISS, SpaceX Demo-1 launch/test failure, SpaceX Beresheet launch, NASA missions, ULA Atlas & Delta launches,
Northrop Grumman Antares, SpySats and more