SpaceX Falcon 9 will now launch on February 22 after delay due to strong upper winds

SpaceX Falcon 9 is ready to launch with three satellites onboard

SpaceX is all set to launch the three satellites aboard its Falcon 9 rocket at 6:17 am PT (9:17 am ET) and 14:17 UTC on February 22. SpaceX completed its experimental launch on 6th February when it launched the most powerful rocket i.e. Falcon Heavy. The launch of Falcon 9 was scheduled for February 18, however, due to final checkups of the payload fairings, the launch was postponed to February 21 from Vandenberg Air Force base in California. During the launch preparations on February 21, strong upper winds caused the launch to reschedule to February 22 at the same time. SpaceX has claimed that it will not recover the booster that will be used to lift off Falcon 9 as it will be rolling out next generation of rockets this summer.

Now, SpaceX will launch the three satellite onboard it’s Falcon 9 rocket on February 22. The first satellite is PAZ developed by Airbus for the Spain-based company Hisdesat. PAZ will be deployed in the low-earth orbit and will be overlooked by Hisdesat and the Government of Spain. The satellite has a powerful synthetic aperture radar which has the capability of capturing images through the cloud cover giving an output image of 25 centimeters per pixel. The satellite has been touted to spot breach of national security such as North Korean missile launchers and for other purposes too.

Apart from Spain’s PAZ, Falcon 9 will carry two satellites as payload which is a part of 12,000 broadband satellites that will deploy in the low-earth orbit over a course of few years. SpaceX will carry experiments on these two satellites beaming down the Internet to the ground after which, the entire constellation of satellites known as Starlink will be deployed. According to Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, the cost of per flight charged by the private space agency is around $40million which is the cheapest compared to other space agency. To put things into perspective, the previous launch of Falcon Heavy cost $90million as its overall budget while the most powerful NASA mission Saturn V was launched with a budget of $1.1billion which is ten times greater than SpaceX.

SpaceX has announced that it will be working on ‘Block V’ which will be the module in which humans will be able to fly into space next year. SpaceX is determined to colonize Mars at a cost ten times less than other space agency which has given a lot of attention over the year. SpaceX has over 24 launches this year of which, Falcon 9 will be the fourth in the row and second in February 2018 alone. The space agency set the highest record of launches made by a private firm with over 18 launches which went successfully. According to Gwynne Shotwell, President of SpaceX, the firm has plans to increase launches between 30 to 40 missions in a year. SpaceX has already uploaded the feed of its launch with three satellites on its website which will be activated before the launch.

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