SpaceX Completes Falcon 9 Hot Fire for GPS Launch – 2nd in 16 Hours with 2 Falcons on 2 Launch Pads as Starlink Sats Awaits Liftoff: Photos

SpaceX Completes Falcon 9 Hot Fire for GPS Launch – 2nd in 16 Hours with 2 Falcons on 2 Launch Pads as Starlink Sats Awaits Liftoff: Photos
SpaceX conducts successful static fire test of Falcon 9 first stage engines at 1O a.m. EDT on June 25 with exhaust spewing out from the flame trench at Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station for GPS III Space Vehicle 03 mission targeted for launch June 30, 2020 at 3:55 p.m. ET – as seen from the Indian River, Titusville. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM

TITUSVILLE, FL – In a remarkable sign of their swiftly increasing launch cadence SpaceX engineers carried out another hot fire engine test this morning, Thursday, Jun 25, for next week’s GPS III Space Vehicle 03 navigation satellite launch – and it comes as the second in just under 16 hours on the heels of after another test fire yesterday using 2 different Falcon 9 rockets at 2 nearby launch pads for 2 different missions on Florida’s Space Coast – and its all as the their next batch of Starlink internet comsats await liftoff Friday afternoon, June 26

And in contrast to the lengthy delay in confirming a good test from yesterdays Starlink Falcon 9 static fire test, SpaceX quickly announced a good result from the GPS Falcon 9 test within an hour of the event.

“Static fire test complete – targeting Tuesday, June 30 for Falcon 9 launch of GPS III Space Vehicle 03 from Space Launch Complex 40 in Florida,” SpaceX tweeted.

Liftoff of the GPS III Space Vehicle 03 navigation satellite mission is slated for 3:55 p.m. Tuesday June 30 from seaside Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, FL.

The GPS III-3 mission will be the third on behalf of the U.S. Space Force launch

The brief static fire test of the recycled Falcon 9 rocket minus the expensive payload and nose cone attached was carried out precisely at 10 a.m. (1400 GMT), Thursday, June 25 at Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and appeared to go well.

I watched the breakfast time engine test Thursday from nearby in Titusville, Fl about a dozen miles away across the Indian River lagoon and observed the exhaust plume and vapor cloud emanating from the bottom of the booster.

Enjoy my eyewitness photos of the static fire test at Space UpClose under hazy but beautiful weather conditions with mostly and scattered clouds and minimal haze.

 

SpaceX conducts successful static fire test of Falcon 9 first stage engines at 1O a.m. EDT on June 25 with exhaust spewing out from the flame trench at Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station for GPS III Space Vehicle 03 mission targeted for launch June 30, 2020 at 3:55 p.m. ET – as seen from the Indian River, Titusville. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The exhaust was easily visible and wafting overhead and dissipating quickly in the winds about 12 miles away.

Rare view of 2 SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets raised vertical on 2 pads 39A and 40 – fully integrated Starlink rocket at left pad39A and booster minus GPSIII payload for USSF to right of giant LOX tank pad 40 . Both static fired successfully about 16 hours apart on June 24 & 25. Launches targeting June 26 & 30. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

The brief hold down hotfire test of the fully integrated SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage rocket and Merlin 1D engines is run after the rocket is raised vertical and is routinely done to confirm the readiness of the rocket for launch.

All 9 Merlin 1D first stage engines are ignited to generate approx. 1.7 million pounds of thrust for about 3 seconds or so.

During the hold down static 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 was carried out to the point of a brief engine ignition lasting around 3 seconds or so.

 

SpaceX conducts successful static fire test of Falcon 9 first stage engines at 1O a.m. EDT on June 25 with exhaust spewing out from the flame trench at Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station for GPS III Space Vehicle 03 mission targeted for launch June 30, 2020 at 3:55 p.m. ET – as seen from the Indian River, Titusville. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

“GPS III-3 will be the third U.S. Space Force launch, second NSSL mission to be launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, and the first National Security Space Launch mission where a launch service provider will be recovering a booster,” says the military’s Space and Missile Systems Center.

Lockheed is the prime contractor for the GPS III navigation satellite series comprising a constellation of 6 satellites.

SpaceX launched in the first in this series followed by ULA.

Watch my commentary about the SpaceX Starlink launch at WFTV ABC 9 Orlando TV News on Jun 25

https://www.wftv.com/news/local/brevard-county/spacex-launch-another-round-starlink-satellites-friday/4WKS5J4QDBA7TJ2E4SPI5UJQRI/

Watch my live Starlink launch and post ULA Atlas V WDR interview about Mars 2020 rover and more at the American Space Museum ‘Stay Curious’ daily weekday show on June 22, 2020

Space Journalist Dr. Ken Kremer joins "Stay Curious"

Update on Artemis to the Moon with space journalist/photographer Dr. Ken Kremer to help you "Stay Curious."

Posted by American Space Museum & Space Walk of Fame on Monday, June 22, 2020

Watch Ken’s continuing reports about Commercial Crew and Artemis and onsite for live reporting of upcoming and recent SpaceX and ULA launches including Demo-2, Starlink, X-37B, Solar Orbiter, Mars 2020 and more at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

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 topics.
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Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events

 

 

 

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Ken Kremer

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 Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. 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 topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.

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