January 30, 2017 – 06:41 pm

Falcon 9 makes thundering night Launch from Florida, delivers two Satellites

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket made a thundering nighttime blastoff from Space Launch Complex 40 at 3:50 UTC on Monday, embarking on the launcher's first ever dual payload delivery mission lofting the Eutelsat 115 West B and ABS 3A satellites to a Supersynchronous Transfer Orbit. Due to the high payload mass of the two satellites, Falcon 9 had to fly in its fully expendable configuration without landing legs and grid fins, not attempting a first stage return.
Carrying two primary payloads was a first for Falcon 9, launching the two satellites in a stacked fashion, using a system developed by Boeing that did not require any adapters between the two Boeing-manufactured satellites. To loft the two satellites, Falcon 9 burned its first stage for close to three minutes, providing the entire performance of the launcher to the delivery of the two satellites. The second stage of Falcon 9 burned for nearly six minutes to reach a slightly elliptical parking orbit ahead of a coast phase and a short one-minute burn to insert the satellites into their planned orbit for separation 30 and 35 minutes after liftoff.
Falcon 9 was rolled out to the launch pad in the early hours UTC on Sunday, being put into its vertical launch position, supported by the large Strongback structure.


Photo: SpaceX Webcast

This early rollout was required to allow the two satellite payloads sufficient time to complete final battery charging and reconfigurations for countdown operations. Over the course of the day on Sunday, technicians were busy at the launch pad, hooking Falcon 9 up to umbilical, purge, pressurant, power and data lines.

Launch Vehicle power-up was planned at L-10 hours to mark the start of testing conducted on the various subsystems of the launch vehicle. Over the course of the initial hours of the countdown, Falcon 9 went through electrical testing, flight computer checks, propulsion system verifications, communication checks and Flight Termination System Testing.

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Source: www.spaceflight101.com

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