Air Force certified Falcon Heavy for national security launch but more work needed to meet required orbits
SMC Commander Lt. Gen. Thompson: "They are fully certified now. But that doesn’t mean the work on the Falcon Heavy stops.”
Satellite broadband company Ovzon said Aug. 24 that a better offer from Arianespace for a 2021 launch aboard an Ariane 5 prompted it exit an agreement to launch its first fully owned satellite on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy.
The DSX satellite will collect data that will be used to study the radiation environment in space.
SpaceX is set to perform the third flight of its Falcon Heavy rocket June 24, a mission that will effectively be a test flight demonstrating the capabilities of the vehicle for the U.S. Air Force.
After years of delays, a group of NASA technology demonstration payloads is finally set to lift off on a Falcon Heavy later this month.
SpaceX sent the Arabsat-6A communications satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit April 11, completing the Falcon Heavy rocket’s first commercial launch.
Arabsat chose SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket to launch its newest satellite in order to give the satellite a longer lifespan, Khalid Balkheyour, Arabsat’s chief executive, said in an interview with SpaceNews.
Falcon Heavy’s first commercial launch to pave the way for reusable rockets in national security missions
The data from the Arabsat 6A mission could determine how soon the Air Force will be ready to certify reused boosters.
NASA hopes to get two long-delayed space science missions launched in the first few months of 2019, one of which will go on one of two back-to-back Falcon Heavy missions.
Swedish startup Ovzon, which in October bought a Falcon Heavy launch from SpaceX, has now purchased a satellite for that mission from Maxar Technologies’ Space Systems Loral division.
Switching from SLS to the Falcon Heavy may cause some trade-offs in designing both the Europa Clipper and the Europa Lander to fit the smaller rocket. However, the cost savings could be plowed into an Enceladus orbiter.