September 26, 2023


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SpaceX plans to launch the moon for the first time [webcast]

(NET) Before 7:08 p.m. EDT (23:08 UTC) on August 4, the airline’s installed Falcon 9 rocket will fly to SpaceX’s Cape Canaveral as part of the company’s 34th launch in 2022. Launch it from the power of space. LC-40 station platform. .

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

SpaceX has appointed a former Falcon Heavy booster B1052 for its first moon launch. After being first launched in April 2019 and supporting another Falcon Heavy launch in June, the original “side booster” will last months or years per payload contracted to launch the most powerful operational rocket, and has not been used for nearly 1,000 days due to delays. Eventually, SpaceX abandoned the wait and converted the cars into Falcon 9 boosters, and the Falcon 9B1052 debuted on January 31, 2022.

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

Technically, KPLO isn’t the first payload that SpaceX helped launch to the Moon. That distinction is held by Israel’s Beresheet lunar module, which launched an engagement payload aboard a Falcon 9 geostationary communications spacecraft in 2019. The spacecraft landed unsuccessfully, but entered a stable orbit around the moon before things got worse.

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Instead of launching satellites to carry payloads into Earth orbit, KPLO (also known as Danuri) will be the only spacecraft aboard the Falcon 9, a SpaceX rocket that will send the orbiter directly into a type of lunar injection (TLI) path known as lunar orbital travel. Although BLT is much slower than other TLI orbiters, it trades in speed for exceptional efficiency, making the Falcon 9 easier to launch and requiring less fuel to enter orbit, ultimately making it an orbiter, taking longer to orbit the Moon.

If all goes according to plan, KPLO, which weighs about 1,500 pounds at takeoff, will complete several orbit correction burns before entering lunar orbit in mid-December. The spacecraft is equipped with many cameras, network experiments and some scientific instruments, and the main purpose of the spacecraft is to explore debris-free areas for future Korean lunar landers.

The South Korean lunar probe Danuri. (curry)

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

KPLO is one of them. Up to 6 launches Planned for August 4 around the world, including two missions to China, a ULA launch on the East Coast of the United States, a Rocket Lab mission from New Zealand, and the most recent launch of subtropical tourism for Blue Origin. Excluding delays, KPLO will be the last launch of the day. SpaceX’s official webcast could begin around 6:55 PM ET (22:50 UTC).

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SpaceX plans to launch the moon for the first time [webcast]