The side stages of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy after flight FH 7

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Every weekend, an image that made the news or caught our attention. On July 29, SpaceX completed the seventh mission of its heavy launcher, whose side stages returned to land on dry land at the end of flight.

Historical payload

The seventh mission of Falcon Heavy since February 2018 (which also marked the 51st orbital launch carried out by SpaceX this year) was successfully completed on July 29.

The aim was to place the American satellite in geosynchronous transfer orbit Jupiter 3 (EchoStar 24), the largest and heaviest telecommunications relay ever deployed in space: it weighs 9.2 tons at liftoff and, with its solar panels fully deployed, achieves a wingspan similar to that of an airliner.

The launch took place at 3:04 UTC from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) of the Nasain Floridatwo days late following a stop in the timeline at H0 minus 5 seconds.

Consequently, the mission Crew 7 around the international space station (including the Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensenof the’European Space Agency) is postponed until at least August 25 – it was originally scheduled for the 12th.

Proven floors

If the central first stage (B1074) was new and “condemned (like the upper stage), the two side stages (B1064 and B1065) had already been used twice, during missions 4 and 5 of the Falcon Heavy, in November last year and last January.

At the end of a flight of 7 minutes and 40 seconds, the two stages landed gently on the LZ-1 and LZ-2 landing zones of the military base of Cape Canaveralneighbor of the KSC.

They are already assigned to two other missions, next October and November: the launch of the probe Psyche of NASA to the asteroid (16) Psyche, located between Mars and Jupiter, then the placing in geostationary transfer orbit of the American military payload USSF US 52 SpaceForce (classified).

John Walker Avatar