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Following the reopening of the government, SpaceX sought two permits from Falcon Heavy



  The two Falcon heavy-booster landings in 2018 were something special.
Enlarge / The two Falcon heavy-booster landings in 2018 were something special.

Trevor Mahlmann for Ars Technica

] With the reopening of the federal government, start-up companies can once again apply for start-up licenses at various agencies, and SpaceX has apparently taken full advantage of this fact on Monday. The company requested three approvals from the Federal Communications Commission (which can be searched here).

One of the permits relates to the next shipment planned for March by the International Space Station ISS for the Dragon Spacecraft CRS-1

7. This approval for "Dragon Capsule Telemetry, Pursuit and Command" indicates that the mission will not fly until April 12th.

There may be more interest in applications for two permits in connection with the launch of the next Falcon Heavy mission, Arabsat 6A and the landing of two side amplifiers and the central core. These applications indicate that the launch of the Arabsat 6A mission will begin on March 7 at the Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A. This is consistent with current estimates for the current launch date.

The landing permit also confirms that SpaceX plans to land the two side boosters on the Florida coastline to allow a repeat of the dramatic side-effects of landings during Falcon Heavy's first test flight last February. The company will also try to land the center core on an oceanic drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean, about 1,000 km off the coast. During the first test flight of the Falcon Heavy missile SpaceX narrowly missed the landing of the center. Successful Landings Required

Arabsat 6A is a large Saudi Arabian telecommunications satellite. It weighs about 6 tons and is destined for geostationary orbit.

There is a lot going on these landings as SpaceX wants to reuse the auxiliary amplifiers and the center core for their third Falcon Heavy mission, Space Test Program-2. This flight could already take place in April, although slipping to the right is likely, as a month-long turnaround of three boosters is ambitious. The payload of this shared ride community acquired by the US Air Force includes six weather research satellites, several demonstration missions and academic projects.

One of the more interesting payloads comes from the Planetary Society. The LightSail 2 CubeSat project will attempt to perform a solar-sailing flight in Earth orbit. Once in space, the 61-cm spacecraft will separate itself from the top of the Falcon Heavy rocket and perform a series of maneuvers to unfurl a light sails from Mylar spanning an area of ​​32 square meters. This sail will try to use the constant pressure of solar particles to lift itself into higher orbits around the earth.

If the center core of Falcon Heavy does not successfully land on a drone ship after flying with Arabsat 6A, it is not clear how It would take a long time for SpaceX to produce another.


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