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February 2-8, 2015 / Vol 34, No 5 / Hawai`i Island, USA

30 Jan 2015, 20:58 UTC
February 2-8, 2015 / Vol 34, No 5 / Hawai`i Island, USA
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SpaceX To Launch DSCOVR Mission, Attempt 2nd Falcon 9 Booster Landing on Platform

SpaceX is preparing to launch its Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket on February 8 from Cape Canaveral AFS SLC-40 in Florida at 18:10 EST. It will loft Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) to the Sun-Earth L1 Lagrange Point about 1.5M km from Earth to provide real-time solar wind and Coronal Mass Ejection monitoring capabilities. It will also measure radiation reflected and emitted by Earth and provide multispectral images of the sunlit side of Earth. This will be the first of two Orbital/Suborbital Program-3 (OSP-3) launches for the US Air Force. SpaceX will conduct a second attempt to land the Falcon 9 core stage on the Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship (ASDS) floating platform which will be located 320 km northeast of the launch site, and is outfitted with thrusters and able to hold a position within 3 meters. The reentry burn utilizes 3 of the 9 Merlin 1D engines to rotate the booster and perform a supersonic retropropulsion burn. Elon Musk puts the chance of successful recovery at 50%. Eventually the goal will be to return the boosters to designated site on land and reuse them in future launches. ...

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