Hurricane Ian devastated all of Florida this week, with its core passing directly through the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral on Thursday.
By then, however, Ian had weakened into a moderately strong tropical storm, with most of the heaviest rainfall north of the launch pad along the Atlantic coast. Damage to the facility and Space Force launch pad at Cape Canaveral was minimal.
Thus, by Friday, work was already underway at facilities along Florida’s “Space Coast” to rapidly launch three consecutive launches in three days.
SES-20 and SES-21
The first is a commercial mission to launch the SES-20 and SES-21 satellites on the United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket for Luxembourg-based satellite operator SES. Stacked in a “531” configuration, this Atlas rocket features a 5-meter diameter payload fairing, three solid rocket boosters, and her one engine in the centaur upper stage.
On Friday, the United Launch Alliance said everything is underway for the launch of this mission from Space Launch Complex-41 at Space Force Station Cape Canaveral on Tuesday, Oct. 4. The launch is scheduled for 5:36 PM (21:36 UTC). The weather is good and the probability of favorable launch conditions is 70%.
After launch, the Atlas V rocket will send a pair of communications satellites into a near-circular, near-geostationary orbit. Once separated, the satellite will use an on-board propulsion system to circle its orbit at 35,900 km above the equator.
Next up in Florida is NASA’s Crew-5 mission, which will launch to the International Space Station on a Falcon 9 rocket. A NASA official confirmed that the mission is proceeding as scheduled from Launch Complex-39A at Kennedy Space Center at noon EST (16:00 UTC) on Oct. 5.
NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Kasada, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata, and Roscosmos astronaut Anna Kikina are the four crew members of the Houston Johnson crew until the results of Hurricane Ian come out. Waiting at the Space Center. However, it will fly to Florida on Saturday to prepare for launch.
SpaceX, meanwhile, will roll a Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Crew Dragon spacecraft onto the launch pad on Friday night or Saturday, and conduct static launch tests on Sunday. There doesn’t seem to be any technical issues.
Galaxy 33 & 34
Finally, on October 6th, SpaceX is planning an additional launch. In this mission, Falcon 9 rockets from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral will deliver Intelsat’s Galaxy 33 and 34 satellite communications satellites into geostationary transfer orbits. The launch is set for 7:07 PM (23:07 UTC).
The highlight of this mission is the 14th launch of this Falcon 9 first stage booster. This is the first time a SpaceX rocket has flown a purely commercial payload since his 10th flight. This strongly suggests that the commercial satellite market is becoming increasingly happy with SpaceX’s retrofitting process, even for high-use rockets.
NASA said Friday that its Artemis I hardware survived Hurricane Ian safely and is safely housed inside a large vehicle assembly building at the Kennedy Space Center. The agency aims to have the rocket ready for launch in about six weeks.
“Once the team has completed its post-storm recovery efforts, NASA has decided to focus efforts on the Artemis I launch program during the November 12th to November 27th launch period.” NASA said in a blog post:“Over the next few days, managers will assess the scope of work to be performed on the VAB and identify a specific date for the next launch attempt.”
Over the next few days, engineers and technicians will expand the access platform around the Space Launch System rocket and the Orion spacecraft to conduct inspections and begin preparations for the next launch, including retesting the end-of-flight system. To do.
Because the rockets and spacecraft sat fully stacked for more than 11 months, NASA had no idea what the various batteries, stored propellants, and other “limited life” onboard the vehicles had. You want to make sure that all of your “items” are still in good working condition. Roll out to launchpad again.