SpaceX stands down two missions, targets tonight for Vandenberg and Space Coast launches

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The veteran B1081 booster is primed with PACE in Cape Canaveral. Photo Credit: Jeff Seibert/AmericaSpace

After a busy month of January, which saw a personal-best-beating ten missionsSpaceX canceled last night two Falcon 9 launches on the East Coast and West Coast of the United States because of unfavorable meteorological conditions. Higher-than-allowable ground winds on the Space Coast prevented critical pre-launch checkouts and forced The second consecutive day of delay for NASA’s $805 million Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, Ocean Ecosystem (PACE) mission, whilst a Starlink-laden Falcon 9 poised on the West Coast also succumbed to poor weather.

Image Credit: SpaceX

The first two SpaceX flights in February will take place tonight. Starlink will be realigned for a series of backup launch opportunities scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Wednesday PST, and PACE teams will aim for a T-0 at 1:33 am EST on Thursday. They will mark the first pair of SpaceX flights in February, kicking off a busy few weeks which are also expected to see the 12:57 a.m. EST Valentine’s Day launch of Intuitive Machines’ IM-1 spacecraft to alight at the south pole of the Moon as part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program and later in the month Crew-8 is a four-person team of astronauts and space cosmonautsTheir half-year stay on the International Space Station.

PACE’s liftoff was originally scheduled for 1 a.m. Tuesday EST, but due to weather conditions that were only 50-50 favorable, NASA and SpaceX chose late Monday not to launch the first time and instead focus on Wednesday. SpaceX also tweeted on X that high winds at the Cape’s Landing Zone (LZ)-1, where B1081 was set to make a solid-ground touchdown, were also unfavorable.

Photo Credit: Jeff Seibert/AmericaSpace. Photo Credit: Jeff Seibert/AmericaSpace

Yet hopes of flying at the same time—a near-instantaneous 90 seconds, with teams aiming for the middle of the “window” and leaving the second half available to accommodate potential Collision Avoidance (COLA) considerations—early Wednesday also came to nought. “Due to ground winds preventing pre-launch checkouts, we are now targeting Thursday, 8 February for Falcon 9 to launch PACE,” SpaceX tweeted on X, with an expectation that tomorrow’s weather should improve to 95-percent-favorable.

“By Wednesday, the Space Coast will finally see some relief from the high winds as high pressure slides into the Southeastern U.S.,”The 45th Weather Squadron, Patrick Space Force Base, provided an update on Tuesday afternoon. “Winds will continue to decrease and veer from the north to the northeast as the day progresses and dry air in the mid and upper levels will cap off low-level clouds coming off the Atlantic.

PACE in the cleanroom Photo Credit: Jeff Seibert/AmericaSpace

“Weather conditions look very favorable for the backup day,”Additions “with the only concern being a very low risk of a Cumulus Cloud Rule violation.”

The B1081 booster core has been flown four times. The first of these vehicles entered service in August last year to deliver Dragon Endurance and her Crew-7 quartet of NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, Denmark’s Andreas Mogensen of the European Space Agency (ESA), Satoshi Furukawa of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Russian cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov to the International Space Station (ISS), where they currently reside. Two additional launches of B1081 took place last NovemberThe following are some examples of how to get started: December delivered SpaceX’s CRS-29 Cargo Dragon For a one-month research stay on the space stationStarlink satellites in low orbit are a batch of 23 satellites.

PACE on the pad, enclosed within its bulbous fairing. Photo Credit: Jeff Seibert/AmericaSpace

Assuming a timely launch Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida., at 1:33 a.m. EST Thursday, B1081 will power the stack for opening 2.5 minutes of ascent, before returning to alight—for the third time in her four-mission career—on solid ground at the Cape’s Landing Zone (LZ)-1. Meanwhile, the Falcon 9’s second stage will execute a lengthy “burn”PACE is launched into orbit by deploying the 3,750 pound (1,700 kilogram) spacecraft 12 minutes, 22 seconds into the flight. It will then be inserted into a near-polar satellite orbit 420 miles (650 kilometers) above Earth.

Originally scheduled to launch two years ago, under a previous nomenclature “Pre-Aerosol Clouds and Ocean Ecosystem”, PACE is managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, Md. The mission utilizes three scientific instruments—a first-of-its-kind Ocean Color Instrument (OCI), built by GSFC, and a pair of multi-angle polarimeters furnished by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and the Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON) and Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands—to afford global views of microscopic algae concentrations, known as “phytoplankton”, which occupy the sunlit upper part of the oceans and produce at least half of Earth’s oxygen and forming the base of the marine food chain, together with atmospheric aerosol content.

Video Credit: NASA

Quantifying phytoplankton concentrations NASA explainedIt is important for expanding our knowledge of the carbon cycle, and tracking climate variability and change in time. “Knowing more about global phytoplankton community composition will help us understand how living marine resources respond to a changing climate,”Jeremy Werdell is a Project Scientist from GSFC. “With PACE, we will learn more about the role of marine phytoplankton in the global carbon cycle.”

SpaceX announced its first Vandenberg launch of February late Tuesday. The veteran B1071 booster is scheduled to lift off at 9:37 PM PST from the Space Launch Complex (SLC), 4E, located in the West Coast launch site surrounded by mountains. The Falcon 9 is loaded with densified liquid kerosene and rocket-grade kerosene. “RP-1”() started on time at T-35 minutes despite the forecast that predicted only a 30% chance of good weather at T0.

B1071 completed the 200th successful touchdown of a Falcon class booster last year. Photo Credit: SpaceX

Finally, at 9:44 p.m. PST—after holding the countdown for several minutes—SpaceX officially stood down from Tuesday night’s launch attempt. “Next opportunity is no earlier than Wednesday, 7 February, pending weather conditions,”The Hawthorne-based organization tweeted, revealing that the next range of T0 options will begin at 5:17 p.m. tonight, right on the cusp before sunset.

B1071, a veteran Starlink low orbit satellite pilot, will fly 22 Starlink internet communications satellites on this mission. “Vandenberg Falcon”As she prepares to launch her 14th album in exactly two years. First flight early in February 2022, her opening pair of flights delivered two highly secretive payloads to orbit for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), followed by a pair of multi-customer Transporter missions, Germany’s SARah-1 radar-imaging surveillance satellite, seven Starlink missions—totaling more than 250 flat-packed satellites—The NASA-led Surface Water and Ocean Topography Mission (SWOT)., a scientific collaboration between the United States of America and France to investigate the surface-water heights with centimeter precision.

A Starlink payload is ready for launch. Photo credit: SpaceX

Note: The fifth flight will be in October 2022Set a new record together Dragon Endurance and Crew-5 have been launchedIt takes only seven hours, ten minutes and ten seconds between two Falcon 9 missions. Since then, this record has been twice broken. First, in March 2023More recently The final days of December. B1071 was also responsible for executing SpaceX’s 200th successful landingA first-stage booster.

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