SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is launching its most expensive payload to date [live stream]

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launchSpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will be carrying the RADARSAT Constellation Mission from Space Complex Launch-4 from the Vandenberg Air Force Base today.

spacex falcon 9 rocket is launching its most expensive payload to date live stream 1024x674 - SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is launching its most expensive payload to date [live stream]

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SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will carry three new Earth-observing satellites for the Canadian Space Agency RADARSAT’s mission into low earth orbit. The project is titled Constellation Mission and will launch from the Vanderberg Air Force Base.

SpaceX tweeted a photo earlier today. It shows the Falcon 9 rocket vertical on the launch pad in California. The company explained:

“Falcon 9’s first stage for launch of RADARSAT Constellation Mission previously supported Crew Dragon’s first demonstration mission in March 2019. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will return to land on SpaceX’s Landing Zone 4.”

SpaceX’s interesting payload

The RADARSET Constellation Mission (RCM) will be used to observe Earth from space. It consists of three identical C-Band Aperture Radar (SAR) Earth observation satellites.

Once launched, the RCM will be able to create precise ice maps of Canada’s oceans and lakes. The information will be used to facilitate navigation and track vessels of interest.

Furthermore, the data will assist with disaster management, including mitigation, response and recovery. As well as monitoring the ecosystem with regards to agriculture, wetlands, forestry and coastal changes.

The RCM project has three objectives:

  1. to deliver C-band data to users within the Canadian government,
  2. produce daily coverage for ice, ship, and oil spill detection, and
  3. to meet financial constraints to minimise cost of the program.

Watch: Falcon 9 rocket launch and RADARSAT mission live stream

Take note, liftoff scheduled for 16:17 South African Standard Time (SAST) on Wednesday 12 June 2019. The stream will go live at 16:00.

Falcon 9 rocket: Stats for nerds

The Falcon 9 rocket has in been commission since 2012, and is the Falcon Heavy’s predecessor. The Falcon 9 will carry approximately 53 000 kilograms of cargo into space throughout its lifetime.

The two-stage-to-orbit rocket has a mass of 541 300 kilograms. It can carry up to 22 800 kilograms of cargo in low Earth orbit, or up to 8 300 kilograms in geostationary transfer orbit.

Furthermore, the Falcon 9’s first stage has nine Merlin engines with a burn time of 162 seconds. In addition, the second stage has only one engine which ignites after stage separation. It has a burn time of 397 seconds.

Also read – SpaceX to attempt triple rocket landing with Falcon Heavy

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