DSCOVR fairing popped off - SpaceX finally launches the re-usable Falcon 9Tasnuva Rahim (Author) Published Date : Feb 12, 2015 09:56 ET
After one too many delays due to extreme weather conditions, the SpaceX has finally launched its re-usable Falcon 9 rocket hauling up NASA s DSCOVR satellite also dubbed as GoreSat at NASA, has been designed to multitask from space to benefit us with plenty of information such as monitoring solar wind patterns and providing early warning system against solar blazes.
After 4 days of delays, it has finally lifted off from Cape Canaveral. The lift-off was right on time at 1505 Pacific Time (2305 UTC) and till now everything is looking great.
Falcon 9 was left aside for 8 years from 2000 to 2008 and was due to lift in December till Antares has an explosion. Initially Antares was supposed to carry DSCOVR but due to the mishap, it has been replaced by SpaceX.
Hoping that the execution goes according to the plan, the rocket will place the satellite for the first time in a position well clear of low-Earth and orbit and into space and then DSCOVR will be on its way to the L1 Lagrange point and due to the gravity between the Earth and Sun, it will be held in a point 1,500,000 kilometers (930,000 mi) away to get its work done.
SpaceX had the initial plan to land the lower half of its booster on a floating space-pad, for re-using in the future. There is a severe storm in the coasts of Florida so a landing is something that is not at all being considered given the circumstances. There are reports of one of its four engines being disabled.
The team plans to bring the rocket down and make it drift above the ocean while they collect data and wait for an appropriate weather for landing.
Musk said that the payload cannot be delayed any further hence the rocket will land at sea with less than 1% chance of survival.
Updated on 1516 PT (2316 UTC)
The lower part of Falcon 9 has been placed as SpaceX confirms. A secondary burn required to shove the satellite into space in taking place in 20 minutes and if everything goes according to plan this mission can be called successful for now.
Updated at 1532 PT (2332 UTC)
The ultimate rocket burn has been as intended and the DSCOVR s fairing has been popped off according to the plan. The satellite is now estranged from the rocket and activated as planned 32mins and 36 sec prior to launch.
DSCOVR fairing popped off - SpaceX finally launches the re-usable Falcon 9