Falcon 9 cargo mission for NASA demonstrated long-duration coastline needed by US Air Force – SpaceNews

by Sandra Erwin —

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket introduced the Dragon spacecraft on a resupply flight to the Intercontinental Space Station Dec. 5, 2019. Credit history: SpaceX

The Falcon 9 higher stage engine carried out a 20.one 2nd burn after the 6-hour coast

LOS ANGELES — The higher stage of the SpaceX Falcon 9 mission to the Global Area Station Dec. five properly carried out a 6-hour coast and a deorbit burn, a examination that had been requested by the U.S. Air Power to demonstrate the auto can deliver countrywide stability payloads instantly to geosynchronous Earth orbit.

“I acquired a thumbs up this early morning,” SpaceX president and main running officer Gwynne Shotwell explained to reporters Dec. 6 throughout a media roundtable at the company’s headquarters in Hawthorne.

“They’re even now seeking at the info,” Shotwell reported. She verified the higher phase motor done a “full duration burn up of twenty.1 seconds right after the coast.”

Shotwell reported this was the 3rd time the Falcon upper stage tried a extended coast but this was the to start with six-hour coastline that also executed the engine burn.

This is a capability that is expected for countrywide safety launches to GEO orbit. SpaceX has released a armed service GPS satellite but these only call for a few-hour coasts.

The Air Force so much has relied on United Launch Alliance’s Atlas 5 rockets to fly payloads instantly to GEO orbit. SpaceX desired to demonstrate it could do that in advance of it has to fly categorised countrywide stability missions to GEO in late 2020 less than contracts the Air Pressure now awarded.

The upper phase also had to execute a thermal test. “It’s not the physics. It’s the thermodynamics, earning confident that when you get there you can restart the engine, that your gas doesn’t freeze,” an field supply common with the examination informedSpaceNews. “There are all types of complexities related with coasting for six hours and then restarting the motor all over again.”