Source: Airbus Defense and Space
SpaceX was scheduled to deploy ANASIS-II, a South Korean military communications satellite on July 14, atop a previously-flown Falcon 9 rocket. The aerospace company delayed the mission – “Standing down from tomorrow’s launch of ANASIS-II to take a closer look at the second stage, [and] swap hardware if needed.” The second-stage of Falcon 9, is the part of the rocket which propels the satellite once in space. This piece is newly manufactured especially for the mission. The Falcon 9 first-stage is the part of the rocket that SpaceX reuses; it propels the payload and second-stage into orbit with the power of nine Merlin 1D engines. The first-stage [B1058] that will deploy ANASIS-II into orbit, is special because it conducted SpaceX’s debut crewed flight, which propelled the Crew Dragon spacecraft into orbit with two NASA astronauts aboard on May 30th. Soon after deploying Crew Dragon, it landed on the Of Course I Still Love You (OCISLY) autonomous drone ship at the Atlantic Ocean, as pictured below.
During the mission for South Korea, SpaceX will attempt to land the rocket a second time, this time it will land on the company’s other drone ship called Just Read The Instructions, JRTI . The drone ship and supporting vessels are already heading to the landing zone to conduct the mission.
According to the United States Space Force 45th Weather Squadron’s Launch Execution Forecast released today, July 16, SpaceX targets to deploy the ANASIS-II satellite over the weekend on Sunday, July 19th, during a launch window starting at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The window will remain open until around 8:55 p.m. EDT. [date is subject to change]. The previously-flown Falcon 9 rocket booster is awaiting at the Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida, where it will launch from Space Launch Complex 40. SpaceX engineers are preparing the launch vehicle at a nearby facility ahead of flight.
The Space Force 45th Weather Squadron predicts 60% favorable weather conditions for launch day. The main weather concerns over the weekend are with the cumulus cloud and surface electric field rules. “A rather potent disturbance moving through the flow will promote an increase in moisture on Saturday, bringing an enhanced potential for showers and thunderstorms,” the Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron stated. “Moisture is expected to thin out behind this system on Sunday and into Monday, with a corresponding decrease in the threat for showers and thunderstorms.”
Source: U.S. Space Force
Falcon 9 is expected to deploy the ANASIS-II satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit. ANASIS- II will use its integrated propulsion system to reach an altitude of around 42,000 kilometers over the equator, where it will operate to provide coverage to the Korean Peninsula over a 6,000-kilometer radius. The ANASIS-II satellite will be the first military communications satellite deployed by the country. Not many details have been released, due to the military nature of the mission. The satellite was manufactured by Airbus Defense and Space in France, and it will be operated by South Korea's Agency for Defense Development.
About the Author
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.