Severe Weather Threatens April 1 SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch of Transporter 4 Rideshare Mission SmallSats: Photos

Severe Weather Threatens April 1 SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch of Transporter 4 Rideshare Mission SmallSats: Photos
SpaceX Falcon 9 for Transporter-4 commercial rideshare mission with 40 smallsats stands vertical at Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Liftoff is targeted for 12:24 p.m. EDT, April 1, 2022. Credit: Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com

For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, FL – Severe weather racing across the US towards the East Coast, southeast and central Florida threatens to derail the April 1 liftoff of the next SpaceX Falcon 9 on the firms 4th commercial rideshare missions with a host of 40 varied small satellites on a southerly trajectory from the Space Coast.

On the day before Friday’s noontime launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 Transporter 4 mission the weather odds are only 30% favorable at launch time with the potential for damaging high gusty winds, tornadoes, several inches of torrential drenching rain storms and multiple lightning strikes on the way  to the pad from the west after impacting central Florida.

With storm clouds overhead SpaceX Falcon 9 for Transporter-4 commercial rideshare mission with 40 smallsats stands vertical at Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Liftoff is targeted for 12:24 p.m. EDT, April 1, 2022. Credit: Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com

More than four dozen flights have already been cancelled at nearby Orlando International Airport on Thursday, March 31 and deadly tornadoes struck the Florida panhandle killing two people.

With storm clouds overhead SpaceX Falcon 9 for Transporter-4 commercial rideshare mission with 40 smallsats stands vertical at Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Liftoff is targeted for 12:24 p.m. EDT, April 1, 2022. Credit: Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com

 

Liftoff of the 229-foot-tall (70-meter) rather sooty SpaceX recycled Falcon 9 on the Transporter-4 mission is targeted for 12:24 p.m. EDT, or 1624 GMT, on Friday, April 1, from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida during an instantaneous launch window to a sun-synchronous orbit

“Targeting Friday, April 1 for launch of our fourth dedicated smallsat rideshare mission; teams are keeping an eye on weather as the latest forecast shows a 30% chance of favorable liftoff conditions,” SpaceX tweeted today, Thursday, March 31

Enjoy our photos of the SpaceX Falcon 9 for Transporter 4 vertical at pad 40  taken by the Space UpClose team of Ken Kremer and Jean Wright.

Threatening clouds can be seen overhead in our photos.

SpaceX Falcon 9 Transporter-4 commercial rideshare mission with 40 smallsats vertical at Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Liftoff target April 1, 2022. Credit: Jean Wright/spaceupclose.com

Continuing rain, storms and overall poor weather is expected to pummel the Space Coast from today through most of Friday.

A back up launch opportunity is available on Saturday, April 2, where the weather outlook improves to 50% GO.

SpaceX Falcon 9 Transporter-4 commercial rideshare mission with 40 smallsats vertical at Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Liftoff target April 1, 2022. Credit: Jean Wright/spaceupclose.com

The SpaceX team then has to stand down on Sunday, April 3, to make way for the WDR fueling test by NASA of the mammoth SLS Moon rocket which will last much of the day

SpaceX Falcon 9 for Transporter-4 commercial rideshare mission with 40 smallsats stands vertical at Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Liftoff is targeted for 12:24 p.m. EDT, April 1, 2022. Credit: Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com

Falcon 9’s first stage booster B1061 previously launched Crew-1, Crew-2, SXM-8, CRS-23, IXPE, and one Starlink mission.

Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on the Just Read the Instructions droneship (JRTI) stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

Transporter-4 is SpaceX’s fourth dedicated smallsat rideshare mission.

Up Close nose cone encapsulating payload of 40 smallsats. SpaceX Falcon 9 for Transporter-4 commercial rideshare mission with 40 smallsats stands vertical at Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Liftoff is targeted for 12:24 p.m. EDT, April 1, 2022. Credit: Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com

The nose cone encapsulates 40 spacecraft of many sizes altogether – these include “CubeSats, microsats, picosats, non-deploying hosted payloads, and an orbital transfer vehicle carrying spacecraft to be deployed at a later time,” says SpaceX.

Exolaunch is one of the commercial customers carrying 12 satellites from 9 countries: :

The hosted satellite deployments start at T + 14 minutes and continue more than an hour to T + 1 hour 26 minutes

Exolaunch payloads on SpaceX Transporter 4 mission

You can watch a live SpaceX webcast of this mission that will begin about 15 minutes prior to liftoff

https://www.spacex.com/launches/transporter-4/index.html

WFTV Channel 9 ABC News Orlando featured Ken’s comments about busy times on the Space Coast with SLS WDR and upcoming Artemis 1 launch and two SpaceX Crew Dragon launches to ISS NET April 6 & April 20 and Mark Vande Hei return:

https://www.wftv.com/news/local/look-space-coasts-busy-week-ahead/GSYWA2VOHFEHDG35OGCERHT7AI/

Dr Ken Kremer of Space UpClose interview on WFTV ABC News Orlando

Watch Ken’s continuing reports about SpaceX  Starlink, SpaceX Crew and Cargo Dragons, Artemis, SLS, Orion and NASA missions, DART,  Lucy Asteroid mission, Blue Origin and Space Tourism, Commercial Crew and Starliner and Crew Dragon and onsite for live reporting of upcoming and recent SpaceX and ULA launches including Crew 1 & 2 & 3, ISS, Solar Orbiter, Mars 2020 Perseverance and Curiosity rovers, NRO spysats and national security missions 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

Please consider supporting Ken’s work by purchasing his photos and/or donating at Patreon:

https://www.patreon.com/kenkremer

SpaceX Falcon 9 for Transporter-4 commercial rideshare mission with 40 smallsats stands vertical at Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Liftoff is targeted for 12:24 p.m. EDT, April 1, 2022. Credit: Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com
Up Close nose cone encapsulating payload of 40 smallsats. SpaceX Falcon 9 Transporter-4 commercial rideshare mission with 40 smallsats vertical at Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Liftoff target April 1, 2022. Credit: Jean Wright/spaceupclose.com

 

Up Close booster. SpaceX Falcon 9 Transporter-4 commercial rideshare mission with 40 smallsats vertical at Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Liftoff target April 1, 2022. Credit: Jean Wright/spaceupclose.com

 

Up Close booster. SpaceX Falcon 9 Transporter-4 commercial rideshare mission with 40 smallsats vertical at Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Liftoff target April 1, 2022. Credit: Jean Wright/spaceupclose.com

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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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