Falcon Heavy is set to take off once again this June.
People have been waiting to see Falcon Heavy roar up again ever since it shot Tesla’s roadster into orbit in the outer space. The next launch is sooner than you think.
US Air Force has reserved SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy to launch two dozen satellites this June as part of the STP-2 ( Space Test Program) payload. These 25 satellites will consists of six weather research satellites – each weighing less than 500 pounds. They are part of Constellation Observing system for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate-2 or the COSMIC-2 program.
Other satellites include, Air Force Research Laboratory’s Demonstration and Science Experiments (DSX), spacecraft. NASA’s Green Propellant Infusion Mission, an experimental craft built to test the performance of a non-toxic fuel for future satellites. The commercial Orbital Test Bed Satellite developed by U.S. subsidiary of Britain’s Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.
Other small satellites are also booked to go up on STP-2 mission. It includes, Prox 1 built by Georgia students to test out a 3D-printed thruster and a miniaturized gyroscope, and satellites from the U.S. Air Force Academy, the Naval Postgraduate School, the Naval Research Laboratory, the University of Texas at Austin, Michigan Tech, Cal Poly, and a CubeSat assembled by students at Merritt Island High School in Florida.
Falcon Heavy will at least ignite thrice on this mission to place the satellites in two different types of orbit.
This will be the first to launch the highest number of satellites in one mission by SpaceX. Although there have been other rockets that have delivered more number of satellites than this. The Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle carried 104 satellites into orbit back in February 2017.
Falcon Heavy was built for this purpose. Elon Musk said, “The great thing is that the Falcon Heavy opens up a new class of payload, it can launch more than twice as much payload as any other rocket in the world, so it’s kind up to customers what they might want to launch.”
The third launch of Falcon Heavy is scheduled carry Arabsat 6A communications satellite at the end of this year – built by Lockheed Martin owned by Saudi Arabia-based company.
There is one other thing to know about Falcon Heavy is, it will only carry payloads to space. There will be no manned flights. That job will be carried out by upcoming rocket from SpaceX – called the BFR (Big Falcon Rocket).