SpaceX Falcon Heavy launches America’s first national security mission | Techno Glob

USSF-44 was SpaceX’s 50th launch of 2022.

WASHINGTON – A SpaceX Falcon Heavy lifted off from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center, Florida at 9:41 a.m. on November 1, carrying the US Space Force USSF-44 mission into geostationary Earth orbit.

This was the vehicle’s first national security space launch mission, its fourth flight and first flight since 2018 More than three years.

The Falcon Heavy is composed of three Falcon 9 rockets, with 27 engines in the first stage and one engine in the second stage.

USSF-44 – originally planned for launch in 2020 and delayed several times – was a direct-to-geostationary orbit launch carrying two Space Force satellites and an unspecified number of small rideshare payloads.

About two and a half minutes after liftoff, the boosters on both sides separated. The second stage separated from the core stage just four minutes after liftoff. After the separation of the second stage, SpaceX ended the live webcast and did not show a view of the second stage or the payload at the request of the US government.

About eight and a half minutes after liftoff, both side boosters returned to SpaceX’s Landing Zones 1 and 2 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. SpaceX said the boosters — the company’s 150th and 151st successful recoveries — will be refurbished for future national security space missions.

The expendable center core was dumped in the Atlantic Ocean and mission performance requirements did not allow enough fuel to return the stage to Earth.

USSF-44 marked a milestone for SpaceX as its first direct-to-GEO operational mission, which required a long-duration coasting and engine re-start of the Falcon Heavy upper stage. SpaceX typically deploys satellites in geostationary transfer orbit, and the spacecraft use their own propulsion to reach their final orbit 22,000 miles above Earth.

USSF-44 added several smaller satellites including the Tetra-1 satellite and the LDPE-2 ESPA-class ring. Tetra-1 was built by Millennium Space Systems under a 2018 contract. The Space Force plans to use Tetra-1 as a test platform to evaluate the performance of CubeSats in geostationary orbit.

is LDPE-2 Long duration propulsive EELV secondary payload adapterA satellite bus made by Northrop Grumman which can host multiple payloads. This is the second of three missions for the LDPE program, which the Space Force sees as an important capability to get payloads to GEO relatively quickly.

LDPE-1 was launched on December 7, 2021 on the Space Test Program mission. Projection of LDPE-3A USSF-67 mission In 2023, also on Falcon Heavy.

USSF-44 was SpaceX’s 50th launch of 2022.

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