The launch attempt of a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Sunday with a primary takeoff window from 13:32 ET (18:32 UTC) to 14:00 ET (19:00 UTC) For a number of reasons of importance.
First, this will be the company's 19th launch in 2018, and if successful, it will break SpaceX's record for most missions flown in a calendar year. With a handful of launches in December, SpaceX is on its way to fly 22 missiles this year. This means that SpaceX has solved production and processing issues that caused more than eight missiles to fire before 2017 and last year was no coincidence.
Perhaps more importantly, a successful Sunday flight would be the third flight of this particular first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket. This core flew first on May 11 for the Bangabandhu 1 mission and then on August 7 for the Merah Putih mission. For the first time, SpaceX will now try for the third time to fly the same first stage (and its nine Merlin engines).
Such a feat, flying the same rocket three times in less than seven months, would bring that. The company has come closer to its cost reduction goal of flying each Falcon 9 rocket 10 times between major renovations. This became possible after the company introduced a final version of its Falcon 9 amplifier, Block 5, designed by engineers for optimal reusability. (The May flight of this missile core marked for the first time a block 5 variant of the Falcon 9). SpaceX no longer washes the first stage of the rocket as a (very) smaller example of time and cost reduction efforts, which explains why the bottom two thirds of the assembled rocket appear isolated, but the top third is flawless white. This is because the upper stage and payload fairing are new for each flight.
After all, Sunday's mission is notable for its payload – many of which are part of the Spaceflight SSO-A mission. SpaceX will seek to set a starting record for most satellites orbiting simultaneously with 15 micro-rates and 49 dice from commercial and government agencies around the world. Interestingly enough, two of them came from Kazakhstan, a country where many of the Russian Space Agency's launches take place.
A company called Spaceflight organized the four-ton manifesto for the Sunday flight. It designed the payload stack and coordinated a variety of satellite dispensers when the mission reached a sun-synchronous polar orbit at 575 km. The use of the satellites will start about 13 minutes after taking off and will end about 30 minutes after that time.
SpaceX will again seek to regain this amplifier with the droneship . Just read the instructions that are stationed in the Pacific. If successful, we can probably expect this first phase to complete an unprecedented fourth flight sometime in 2019.
The webcast below should start about 15 minutes before the startup window starts.
Entry picture of SpaceX