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posted by chromas on Tuesday May 22 2018, @08:47AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the off-we-go-into-the-wild-blue-yonder dept.

Spaceflightnow reports on the next launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket (11 hours from the time this story posts):

Falcon 9 • Iridium Next 51-55 & GRACE Follow-On
Launch time: 1947:58 GMT (3:47:58 p.m. EDT; 12:47:58 p.m. PDT)
Launch site: SLC-4E, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch five satellites for the Iridium next mobile communications fleet and two Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE Follow-On) satellites for NASA and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ). The Falcon 9 rocket will launch with a previously-flown first stage.

As it usually does, SpaceX has a live feed page up on YouTube which also notes:

A backup instantaneous launch opportunity is available on Wednesday, May 23 at 12:42 p.m. PDT, or 19:42 UTC.

[...] SpaceX will not attempt to recover Falcon 9's first stage after launch.


Original Submission

Related Stories

GRACE-FO Spacecraft to Switch to Backup System in Microwave Instrument 4 comments

GRACE-FO Satellite Switching to Backup Instrument Processing Unit

The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission team plans to switch to a backup system in the Microwave Instrument (MWI) on one of the twin spacecraft this month. Following the switch-over, GRACE-FO is expected to quickly resume science data collection.

A month after launching this past May, GRACE-FO produced its first preliminary gravity field map. The mission has not acquired science data since mid-July due to an anomaly with a component of the Microwave Instrument on one of the GRACE-FO spacecraft. The mission team is completing its investigation into the cause of the anomaly.

The primary science objective of GRACE-FO -- like its predecessor GRACE, which operated from 2002 to 2017 -- is to track how water is redistributed on Earth, by producing highly accurate, monthly gravity field maps. Measurements of changes in Earth's gravity field provide measurements of mass change and enable unique insights into Earth's changing climate, Earth system processes like droughts and sea level changes, and the impacts of human activities on water resources.

Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment.

Previously: Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Ends, "Follow-On" Launching Soon
SpaceX to Launch 5 Iridium Next and 2 GRACE Satellites Today: Tuesday May 22 @ 19:47:58 UTC


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday May 22 2018, @02:47PM (5 children)

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Tuesday May 22 2018, @02:47PM (#682650) Journal

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravity_Recovery_and_Climate_Experiment#GRACE_Follow-On [wikipedia.org] (give it its own page already)

    The purpose of GRACE is to measure Earth's gravity field in detail. Compare to the similar GRAIL [wikipedia.org] mission that orbited the Moon. ESA also had GOCE [wikipedia.org], which only used 1 spacecraft. GRACE-FO includes a laser interferometer alongside the microwave ranging system used by the previous mission, which should result in increased precision and accuracy.

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    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 22 2018, @03:45PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 22 2018, @03:45PM (#682676)

      You failed to mention Geosat and GFO which were earlier and had the same purpose.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 22 2018, @04:04PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 22 2018, @04:04PM (#682687)

      My physics prof explained that precise measurement of the Earth gravitational field is important for accurate placement of ICBMs allowing for smaller warheads to take out targets.

      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Tuesday May 22 2018, @04:55PM

        by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday May 22 2018, @04:55PM (#682704)

        And for correction of GPS sat orbits, which help the warhead compensate for imprecision in inertial guidance systems.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 22 2018, @05:08PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 22 2018, @05:08PM (#682713)

        It's used for much more than that.

  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday May 22 2018, @03:23PM

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Tuesday May 22 2018, @03:23PM (#682668) Journal

    The SpaceX rocket used for the ill-fated Zuma mission to fly again today [arstechnica.com]

    "The company will also make another attempt to recover a payload fairing."

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 22 2018, @03:56PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 22 2018, @03:56PM (#682679)

    is, or is this a spacex only site?

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday May 22 2018, @04:01PM (2 children)

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Tuesday May 22 2018, @04:01PM (#682680) Journal

      You didn't comment on the last one [soylentnews.org]. Or are you just a slow idiot?

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      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 22 2018, @04:06PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 22 2018, @04:06PM (#682689)

        I am a slow idiot, but to be fair I didn't check yesterday.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 22 2018, @04:58PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 22 2018, @04:58PM (#682708)

          You were just out to launch.

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday May 23 2018, @12:59AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday May 23 2018, @12:59AM (#682869) Journal

      is, or is this a spacex only site?

      Is there another game in town?

      It's not Orbital Sciences. Right now, there's SpaceX and then there's a bunch of other launchers who can't come anywhere near them on price. And if SpaceX can deliver on BFR with reasonable specs, it'll probably wipe out most of the world's space launch industry, including Orbital.

      For example, from this report [faa.gov], Falcon 9 launched 18 commercial payloads (which appears to be the extent of its launch activity) to 6 for Atlas V and 2 for all of Orbital Science's launch vehicles combined. In other words, Falcon 9 is the commercial launch market in the US. And given that there were only 90 orbital launches in the entire world, including scientific and military payloads, that means that a single company founded 15 years earlier now launches a fifth of the entire market in 2017.

      But sure, let's talk about Orbital. They launch rockets or something, right?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 22 2018, @07:48PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 22 2018, @07:48PM (#682774)

    I couldn't watch it. I even downloaded a brand new firefox. The last SpaceX live feed a few weeks ago worked (shame the rocket didn't launch). Drat and double drat!

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