SpaceX will soon be launching its Falcon Heavy rocket, on June 24, beginning the STP-2 mission. The spacecraft will carry 24 satellites for the US Air Force Space Test Program.
While everyone is excited for the big day, we had the chance of receiving a sneak peek from the STP-2 mission showrunners. We must say, the rocket looks incredible!
The mission is led by the Air Force Space & Missile Systems Center. A few days ago, on Tuesday, June 18th, representatives of the organization took to Twitter to post the photo, showing off the inside of the Falcon Heavy rocket. According to the description that accompanied the photo, the rocket weighs around 3,700 kilograms.
SpaceX Launches Its Third Falcon Heavy on June 24th to Commence STP-2 Mission
The complete launch process for the STP-2 mission will take around four hours, starting with Monday night at 11:30 p.m. EST. This mission marks SpaceX’s third Falcon Heavy rocket launch. However, the STP-2 mission is the first of its kind, transporting multiple satellites at the same time, which SpaceX never tried before.
But this not the only interesting detail about the mission. The 24 satellites that Falcon Heavy will carry out feature several types of equipment designed to facilitate the mission. These include a deep space atomic clock to enable one-way navigation, an Enhanced Tandem Beacon Experiment (E-TBEx) to improve signal strength in the upper atmosphere, a Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) for more eco-friendly spacecraft fuel, and Space Environment Testbeds (SET) to study space radiation.
According to the official description published by SpaceX for STP-2, this mission will be one of the most challenging ones in the history of the company. In order to complete the mission, the Falcon Heavy rocket needs four separate upper-state engine burns, three deployment orbits, a final propulsive passivation maneuver, and a total mission duration of over six hours. Even more, after recovering side boosters from the Arabsat-6A Falcon Heavy launch, the US Air Force plans to reuse them in this upcoming mission.
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