U.S. science fines await launch on SpaceX rocket – Spaceflight Now

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket landed Friday at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. Found: Brian Sandoval / Spaceflight Now

SpaceX plans to launch a Falcon 9 rocket from California’s Central Coast after sunrise on Friday, increasing the amount of cargo stuck in orbit for the National Reconnaissance Office in the considered a naval mission.

The Falcon 9 spacecraft is set to take off from Vandenberg Space Force Base, a battlefield on the Pacific coast northwest of Los Angeles, at 6:41 am PDT (9:41 am EDT; 1341 GMT) Friday.

The National Reconnaissance Office did not disclose details about the missionary, codenamed NROL-85. Among other things, the NRO always keeps details about its movements in secret. For the U.S. government’s service of intelligent collection satellites, which provide cloud surveillance and radar, eavesdropping capabilities, and data relay support.

“While we can’t discuss the details of this move, we can guarantee that we will get more than half of the scheduled release and ten planned payouts for the orbit at 2022, “said Nathan Potter, NRO spokesman. “We can confirm the NRO is the only company that will start as part of the NROL-85 mission, and there are no rideshares.”

The NRO develops and releases satellites to track and monitor the movement of ships. There is widespread speculation among independent analysts that the NROL-85 will add two new spacecraft to the U.S. government’s nuclear submarine.

Ted Molczan, a military satellite observer, told Spaceflight Now that “100 percent” payments on the NROL-85 mission starting Friday are the second of an Intruder-class ship-locating. spacecraft.

The conditions of the NROL -85 mission – its altitude, demand, and launch time – all point to the Falcon 9 rocket carrying the second of the Intruder naval reconnaissance satellites, officials said. loea. The Intruder spacecraft was sometimes called the Naval Ocean Surveillance System, or NOSS, satellite.

The U.S. military, which oversees the launch for NRO missions, gave SpaceX an agreement to release NROL-85 in 2019. In military documents, officials said The NROL-85 mission expects to place its payloads in an orbit between 636 miles and 758 miles (1,024 by 1,221 kilometers) in altitude, with 63.5 degrees to the equator.

Those orbital regions correspond to the perceived altitude and gravity of previous Intruder satellites. Air and sea reports about the launch of Falcon 9 on Friday confirm the rocket will follow an easterly route from Vandenberg, which is in line with the 63.5-degree inclination target orbit.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is stationed directly at Space Launch Complex 4-East at Vandenberg Space Force Base. The rocket was lowered Thursday evening for emergency repairs. Available: SpaceX

The NROL-85 “near” mission pulls Intruder, or NOSS, satellites into orbit, according to Marco Langbroek, a Dutch geologist and expert in satellite movements.

Intruder satellites collect data used by the U.S. Navy and government intelligence agencies.

“They isolate ships at high seas, based on their radio / radar emissions,” Langbroek wrote on his website. “They always use affiliates.”

In addition, the timing of Friday’s launch is directly related to the time of the orbital spacecraft of an old crater of Intruder satellites over Vandenberg, which is expected to be replaced by new spacecraft. Two, according to Langbroek.

The latest releases promoted NRO naval satellites that used the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket. The second newest Intruder satellites were launched at Atlas 5 from Vandenberg in 2017, and the satellites Two searches near Vandenberg around the start of Friday were placed by an Atlas 5 in 2012.

For Friday’s mission, SpaceX will use a Falcon 9 booster that flew its first Feb. mission. 2 in an announcement previously dedicated to the NRO.

SpaceX released a new user to Vandenberg shortly after Feb. 2 hope. Technologists have reorganized the rocket – named B1071 in the SpaceX archive – for its second flight on the NROL -85 mission about 10 weeks later.

After taking off from the Falcon 9’s main base, the launcher will return to Landing Zone 4, a quarter of a mile west of the Falcon 9’s runway, for a launch in about eight hours. minutes after departure.

The altitude will ignite its single engine nearly two and a half minutes into the flight as the rock head descends southeast from Vandenberg over the Pacific Ocean. The second phase will guide the NROL-85 beams into an initial orbit, and then a high-powered engine is expected to enter the satellites into their intended separate orbit.

SpaceX has not released the exact timeline of the Falcon 9 mission, citing a request from the NRO to hide that information. SpaceX’s live broadcast network will focus on the return of the first rocket to Earth, and high -level maneuvers will be performed on a news release mandated by the black government – the standard procedure for NRO.

The National Reconnaissance Office patch for the NROL-85 mission. The NRO said: “In the NROL-85 patch, three stars represent leadership, safety, and purpose. The cat represents resilience and resilience that is shared among our nation. and friends.The tiger shows the cat’s mindset that even though the weather can be tough, the determination to help the NRO manage to climb up and out to meet difficult challenges and challenges. we stand in defense of our nation Available: National Reconnaissance Office

The NROL-85 mission will mark SpaceX’s 14th Falcon 9 in 2022, and the third this year from Vandenberg Space Force Base. It was the 148th flight of the Falcon 9 rocket since SpaceX launched the workhorse launcher in June 2010.

SpaceX will be following the NRO mission with two Falcon 9 launches from Florida next week. Another batch of Starlink satellites was launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Base on April 21, followed by a launch on April 23 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center with crews traveling to the International Space Station.

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @ StephenClark1.

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