SpaceX is the first to send the moon [webcast]

SpaceX is the first to send the moon [webcast]

No later than 19:08 EDT (23:08 UTC) on August 4 (NET), the airline’s proven Falcon 9 rocket is set to lift off from SpaceX’s Cape Canaveral space station’s LC-40 platform as part of the company’s fourth launch. Thirty for the year 2022. .

The mission carrying the Korean Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO) spacecraft will be SpaceX’s first direct launch to the Moon, and South Korea could become one of the few countries to successfully orbit a planetary body other than Earth.

SpaceX previously assigned the Falcon Heavy B1052 booster for the first moon launch. After first launching in April 2019 and backing up another Falcon Heavy launch in June, the previous “side booster” lay idle for nearly 1,000 days as every payload contracted to launch the most powerful rocket in operation was delayed for months or even years. In the end, SpaceX abandoned the wait and replaced the car with a Falcon 9 booster, and the Falcon 9B1052 debuted on January 31, 2022. KPLO will be the sixth, and the Falcon 9 will be the fourth.

The B1052 is already equipped with a consumable upper stage and is being prepared for first service as a Falcon 9 booster. (Richard Engel)
Before the sixth flight of B1052 and SpaceX’s first direct launch to the Moon. (SpaceX)

Technically, KPLO won’t be the first payload that SpaceX helped launch to the moon. That distinction is held by Israel’s Beresheet Moon probe, which launched a launch payload aboard a Falcon 9 geostationary communications spacecraft in 2019. The spacecraft did not make its landing, but it did enter a stable lunar orbit before things took a turn for the worse.

Instead of launching the satellite into Earth orbit as a transfer payload, KPLO (also known as Danuri) will be the only spacecraft aboard the Falcon 9, and a SpaceX rocket will send the orbiter directly into the Translunar Injection (TLI) orbit known as Lunar Ballistic Transfer. BLT is much slower than some alternative TLI orbiters, but it trades speed for exceptional efficiency, facilitating the launch of the Falcon 9 and ultimately giving it more useful time in lunar orbit by requiring less fuel to enter orbit.

If all goes according to plan, KPLO – which weighs about 678 kilograms at takeoff – will perform several burns to correct the orbit and will finally enter lunar orbit in mid-December. The spacecraft is equipped with a number of cameras, network experiments and some scientific instruments, and the main purpose of the spacecraft is to explore a debris-free area for a future Korean moon lander.

Moon Danuri orbits South Korea. (curry)

The unnamed follow-up mission will be more domestic, as South Korea intends to launch it with its own Nouri missile. After an unsuccessful first launch attempt in October 2021, Nuri successfully reached orbit on a second launch attempt in June 2022.

KPLO is one of them Up to six launches Its round-the-world flight is scheduled for August 4, including two Chinese missions, the ULA launch off the US East Coast, the Rocket Lab mission from New Zealand, and Blue Origin’s latest subtropical cruise launch. Excluding delays, KPLO will be the last launch of the day. SpaceX’s official webcast will likely begin around 6:55 PM EST (10:50 PM UTC).

SpaceX is the first to send the moon [webcast]

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