On Monday, November 16 at 11:01 p.m. EST, 04:01 UTC on November 17, SpaceX’s Dragon autonomously docked with the International Space Station (ISS) after Falcon Heavy (Falcon 9) launched the spacecraft to orbit from historic Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sunday, November 15, 2020.
As part of the Commercial Crew Program, NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi flew aboard Dragon on its first six-month operational mission to the space station. After its approximately six-month stay at the orbiting laboratory, Dragon and the astronauts will return to Earth and splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida.
Following Dragon’s second demonstration mission (Demo-2), NASA certified SpaceX for operational crew missions to and from the space station. Crew-1 is the first of three scheduled Dragon human spaceflights over the course of 2020 and 2021.The return of human spaceflight to the United States with one of the safest, most advanced systems ever built is a turning point for America’s future space exploration, and it lays the groundwork for missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
Falcon Heavy is the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two. With the ability to lift into orbit nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lb). Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy. Falcon Heavy is composed of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores whose 27 Merlin engines. Together generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft.
Falcon Heavy First Stage
Three cores make up the first stage of falcon heavy. the side core or booster are connect on the nosecone, the interstate and on the octaweb. shortly after liftoff the center core engines are throttled down. After the side separate the centre core engines throttle back up to full thruster. Falcon Heavy’s first stage incorporates 27 Merlin engines across three aluminium-lithium alloy rocket cores containing liquid oxygen and rocket-grade kerosene(RP-1)propellant. Falcon Heavy generates more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff.
- Number of Engines 27
- Thrust at sea level 22,819 kN/5,130,000 lbf
- Thruster in Vacuum 24,681 kN/ 5,548,500 lbf
The Falcon Heavy first stage is equipped with 12 landing legs(4 on each booster) made of state-of-the-art carbon fibre with aluminium honeycomb. All 12 Landing legs are stowed along the side of each booster until just prior to landing.
Falcon Heavy Second Stage
Falcon Heavy draws upon falcon 9’s proven design,which minimises stage separation events and maximises reliability. the second-stage Merlin vacuum engine delivers the rocket’s payload to orbit after the main engines cut of and the first-stage cores separate.
- Number of engines 1
- Burn time 397 sec
- Thrust 981 kN/220,500 lbf
Therefor it made of a carbon composite material. The fairing protects satellites on their way to orbit. SpaceX is recovering fairing for reuse on future missions.
- Height 13.1M/ 43 ft
- Diameter 5.2M/17.1ft
Copyright article by Eco Astronomy