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SpaceX SES-10 Mission - The Return Of The Falcon
Liftoff targeted for March 30. 22:27 UTC, 31. 00:27 CEST.

Today may be a historic day for SpaceX, and spaceflight in general, as SpaceX is going to launch a commercial communications satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit on a previously flown and recovered booster. One of the goals of the company is to substantially improve the cost of space transportation by developing a reusable launch system. While they managed to land and recover eight of their Falcon 9 first stages, this will be the first attempt to launch a refurbished booster for the second time.

Primary Mission - Deployment of SES-10 into the Correct Orbit
The mission will place SES-10, with a weight of 5282kg, into a 35410 km x 218 km x 26.2° geostationary transfer orbit. From there, the satellite will circularize its orbit using its own engine, providing additional ~1800m/s of ΔV.

Secondary Mission - First Stage Landing
Payload mass and velocity at separation are at the limit of the landing capability for this version of Falcon 9. Nevertheless, the first stage is equipped with recovery gear (cold gas thrusters, steerable grid fins, landing legs), and an attempt will be made to land the stage on the autonomous drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You". To save fuel, the booster will probably skip the boostback burn for a ballistic reentry, use a minimal reentry burn to limit peak heating in the denser parts of the atmosphere to survivable temperatures, and conduct a three-engine (1-3-1) landing burn to reduce gravity losses, for a pretty hot and risky landing.

Tertiary Mission - Fairing Recovery!
Steve Jurvetson confirmed SpaceX will be attempting to recover the fairings on this mission, another milestone for reusability, given the fairings supposedly cost a few million each and take quite some time to produce.

Watch:

Updates: Infos:

-- Good luck, everyone!

Reposted fromscience science

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