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  • three.

  • Good morning or evening, depending on where you're tuning in from and good afternoon to our viewers in Japan.

  • On your screen, you can see the Falcon nine rocket against the jet black canvas of the Florida night sky.

  • I'm Michel Hamersley and materials Engineering our avionics department, and I'm talking to you from outside Mission Control at Space six headquarters in Hawthorne, California As we're getting ready for tonight's launch of J.

  • C.

  • Sant 16 we have ah, reasonably unobstructed view into mission control at the moment, which is a rarity on small crowd developing behind me in anticipation of Lift off at 1:26 a.m. Eastern or 8:26 a.m. Coordinated universal time.

  • You may recall that we launched J.

  • C Sound 14 a few months ago, and this mission tonight will have a fairly similar mission profile.

  • It's also going to be a geo stationary transformation.

  • Orbit will be lifting off from Cape Canaveral, ascending to that GTO with a second stage burn, Coast fades and another second stage burn, and the first stage will be landing on the drone ship.

  • One of the big differences will be attempting a single engine landing burn instead of a three and then landing burns.

  • We hope to be bringing you good footage of that all night.

  • This is Tom for Dario.

  • I'm a firm or engineer in the avionics department.

  • Here.

  • It's basics.

  • Now, for those of you who have never seen a Falcon nine launch before, let me walk you through exactly what you're gonna be seeing on the pad before the launch tonight.

  • So the first and foremost the large structure in the centre of the pad that is the Falcon nine rocket.

  • The Falcon nine rocket is broken up into three different sections, the bottom section being the first stage, which takes up about 80% of the height of the rocket.

  • On top of that is the second stage.

  • And then at the very top there is the payload, which is tonight the J.

  • C sat 16 satellite going to geo stationary orbit.

  • However, you can't see the J.

  • C sat satellite right now because it's encapsulated inside the payload faring.

  • Now the fairing is that nose cone shaped structure at the very top of the rocket.

  • And what it does is it protects the satellite inside from the intense air that forces of the launch as the rocket ascends to the atmosphere.

  • Now, right now, the rockets being held vertical by the transporter erector or strong back tower right here.

  • That's that structure that's just to the left of the rocket.

  • It's connected to the top of the rocket via the umbilical, which has electrical connections and plumbing that keep the rocket connected to the pad in communication and also keep it topped off with fuel.

  • As we prepare for launch, the rockets also held down to the very bottom like gigantic hold down clamps.

  • These are massive steel clamps that grabbed onto the bottom of the rocket and actually hold it down until all nine Merlin engines are ignited and confirmed to be operating nominally.

  • We then release the rocket, and it ascends to the atmosphere also in the patter for lightning towers, and you can kind of see through the darkness of the pad right now.

  • What these do They just protect the pad electronics in the rocket itself, from the lightning strikes that can be very common during the Florida weather.

  • There's also a hangar just around the corner over there that the rocket was assembled horizontally and then rolled out to the pad throughout the mission.

  • You're also gonna be seeing a mission countdown clock in the top right hand corner of your screen and then at the very bottom is a mission Progress Park Mission Progress Bar has different types of events that are gonna happen all the way to the launch so you can keep track of exactly what's gonna be happening right all the way down until count until lift off in just a few minutes.

  • Right now.

  • Hi, I'm Kate Thais, a process improvement engineer here in Space six.

  • This is the eighth Falcon nine launch of this year, and on this flight, we're launching J.

  • C Sat 16.

  • It's a communication satellite that will serve as a backup to the existing fleet of Sky Perfect J.

  • Sat Saddle Falcon nine will be sending it to Geo stationary transfer orbit, which you may here's refer to as G T.

  • O.

  • As usual, will be taking you to Orbital Mechanics School later on in our Webcast, so we'll talk more about the details of GTO.

  • Also on deck for tonight is a drone ship landing attempt of the first stage.

  • The rocket's guidance coordinates are set for the drone ship called Of course I still love You, which is currently holding position in the Atlantic Ocean a couple 100 miles off the coast of Florida.

  • Due to the extreme velocities and eating, the first stage is subjected to upon re entry from a GTO mission.

  • The stage return can be tough.

  • However, Tonight we're channeling our inner Simone Biles.

  • We're hoping to stick the landing.

  • To date, we've had three successful jump ship landings as well as two successful manned wins.

  • The last time we scared it carried a sky perfect.

  • Jason Payload was Jaycee sat back 14 back in early May of this year.

  • That was actually the very first time space, like, successfully landed a GTO mission back on a drug shit.

  • That vehicle is currently at our testing facility in McGregor, Texas Way fired it up three times for static tests in late July, and you could see it there on your screen now, since it was a spoke exposed to such extreme conditions upon re entry from the J.

  • C Sat 14 mission, it's now being, you know, being utilized as are flown benchmark vehicle.

  • This means that will perform numerous static fires on the vehicle to evaluate what kind of wear and tear the stage and its components experience from each round of testing.

  • Getting a better understanding of this is an important next up to our path to reusable rockets, which, of course, is what we are trying to do here.

  • It's basics.

  • We're trying to develop a rapidly re a rapidly reusable rocket system, an awesome step towards achieving that goal.

  • Hello, I'm John, his Burger Falcon nine Principal integration engineer.

  • I'm coming to you from my desk here at Space six headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

  • I'll be bringing you status updates during the countdown as well as during the flight of Falcon nine carrying J.

  • C.

  • Sent 16 into GS stationary transfer orbit.

  • Now it's late in the evening here in California, early morning at Cape Canaveral.

  • But again, employees are beginning together out in front of the Mission Control Center in preparation for another Falcon nine launch.

  • Now, we're deep into the launch auto sequence right now.

  • At T minus 10 minutes and 37 seconds.

  • Everything on the Falcon nine continues to go.

  • Well, is we proceed through this launch out of sequence.

  • We're deep into the propellant loading right now.

  • Currently, we are loading liquid oxygen into the first and second stage of the Falcon nine.

  • You can see the view on the camera, the gashes oxygen boiling off from the ground systems along the transporter.

  • Erector strong back.

  • We also began loading fuel at T minus 35 minutes.

  • Currently, feel is loaded on the second stage and we're getting ready to wrap up.

  • Feel loading on the first date.

  • Propellant loading consisting of liquid oxygen will continue up until about the T minus two minutes.

  • Point now.

  • We rolled after the panda T minus 17 hours.

  • That's fairly early for us.

  • The schedule allowed us to do this.

  • We can normally do it in about four hours before lift off.

  • But once we got to the path that allowed our customer the J.

  • C.

  • Set 16 crew to be able to do their spacecraft functional checkouts at about T minus 10 hours, the spacecraft team is completed.

  • Those checks at T minus 30 minutes.

  • They went to internal power That pretty much completes their activities.

  • Other than monitoring the spacecraft for the rest of the countdown, the Air Force range is ready to support with all the assets, and the weather continues to look good, both ground level and upper altitude winds for an on time watch in just over nine minutes, The Falcon nine rocket is capable of launching payloads to many different types of orbits.

  • Now communications satellites typically go for geo stationary orbit and user typically protected inside fairing.

  • You could actually see some shots of R.

  • J.

  • C.

  • Sat 16 faring right now again.

  • That faring typically just protects the satellite, which, you can see is not really designed to go through launch level winds.

  • Now, tonight we're launching the J C Sat 16 satellite into geo stationary orbit.

  • This is actually the second Jason SAT side like we're launching for Sky Perfect J sat.

  • In four months.

  • Jason has 16 satellites in orbit, making it Asia's largest satellite operator.

  • The satellite was built by S.

  • S L, which is based in Palo Alto, California In the heart of Silicon Valley, they're one of the world's leading manufacturers of commercial satellites.

  • In fact, they have more commercial geo stationary satellites in orbit than any other satellite manufacturer.

  • The satellites, of course, be most television, but they also provide radio, broadband, Internet and mobile communications.

  • This will be the fourth S S L built satellite launch on a Falcon nine rocket.

  • SSL has manufactured more than 250 satellites, beginning back in 1960 with the world's very first communications satellite, Korir one beat.

  • In addition to building satellites, SSL was also the exclusive rider of batteries to the International Space Station for more than 10 years.

  • They also built deep space antennas for the twin of Wager space, and one of them is now in interstellar space further than any manmade object ever.

  • Now we're not quite going as far as the Voyager spacecraft today, but we are going pretty far 36,000 kilometers above the surface of the Earth is no joke.

  • Takes a lot of effort, a lot of fuel to get up there.

  • And when it gets up there, the G said J C SAT satellite will be orbiting in exactly the speed off their wrist rotation, so you'll be able to look at it, point the satellite dish and get all that radio, broadband, Internet and mobile communications necessary.

  • So this launches Jacey sat satellite is coming up pretty soon.

  • Just a few more minutes.

  • Okay, so we're about T minus seven minutes until lift off.

  • As you can probably hear, the crowd is starting to grow here by Mission Control, as you've just seen.

  • Tonight's payload is J.

  • C.

  • Sat 16 a communication satellite built by SSL.

  • We're launching it for Sky Perfect, which is Asia's largest, with the current fleet of 16 satellites.

  • One we're sending up tonight will serve as a backup to that existing fleet in order to accommodate this need.

  • It was designed with the flexibility to be used that multiple orbital slots as Tom talk about the Sky Perfect J sat family of satellites are communication and television broadcasting satellites.

  • These satellites served Asia, Russia, Oceanic Middle East Pacific Islands and North America with ultra HD Fourcade television programming and mobile communications for the maritime and aviation industries, from WiFi and movies on your next flight to hi def.

  • In home television streaming Jacey sat fleet has covered.

  • I also included communication capabilities for boats and in the like we've been saying we're sending it to Geo secret.

  • This transfer orbit also in his GTO, and that's about 36,000 kilometers away But to put that in more relative terms, that's about 1/10 of the distance between Earth and the moon.

  • We're gonna be talking a little bit more about why we're sending it that far away, but essentially has to deal with the fact that a communication satellite and it needs to remain over the same spot on Earth in order for those service is to be delivered relied.

  • So we're gonna talk more little bit.

  • Let's fall along with the Countess.

  • So J.

  • C.

  • Sat 16 is a geo stationary transfer orbit mission, and that means we'll be attempting to land.

  • The first age are on our autonomous spaceport drone ship.

  • Of course, I still love you in the Atlantic.

  • I know you've got a beautiful view of the drone ship truckin towards holding location.

  • Um, the drone ship placement is defined almost entirely by whether or not the mission is to low earth orbit or not in a launch to low earth orbit.

  • We have enough propellant and performance in the first stage to do a boost back burn, which means we can come all the way back to land with a GTO mission, though we don't have a boost back burn, so the landing zone is dictated by the natural arc of the first stage booster after stage separation continues further into the Atlantic.

  • Once that location has been chosen, the orientation of the drone ship is defined entirely by waves, and not by how the rocket is approaching.

  • So I have this little pseudo model of the drone ship here, the orientation being how it's placed in the water.

  • So if you've got waves and you've got the long edge of the drone ship facing the waves, the drone ship is actually going to rock a fair amount.

  • Whereas if you have the short side facing the waves and the waves approaching, vertical displacement is the same.

  • But the angle is a lot lower, and that makes it easier for the rocket land properly.

  • The drone ship also stabilizes itself against those waves by taking on seawater as ballast and settling lower in the rocket.

  • Lower in the water.

  • Give me drone Ship doesn't actually speak to the rocket.

  • Instead, it uses GPS and four powerful thrusters, one on each corner to maintain its position in the first stage.

  • Aims for that same GPS coordinates in the final few seconds.

  • As the first stage approaches, the drone ship in the landing burn begins.

  • I can use either three engines or one engine for the landing.

  • Three engines uses less fuel, but it's a bit like slamming on the brakes at the last second.

  • That's harder on the rocket, and you don't have very much time to correct because the engines are only burning for a short period of time.

  • A one inch in Bern uses more fuel, but it's a softer landing and you get more control and that allows you to land in higher winds.

  • We're t minus 3.5 minutes and continuing to count down for an on time launch at 26 minutes after the hour.

  • Now we're deep into that launch automatic sequence where the ground computer and the Falcon nine flight computers aren't control of the countdown.

  • The team of Space X engineers in the launch control center Cape Canaveral have minimal involvement.

  • Right now, the computers are controlling the sequence the engineers are watching over their monitors, ready to step in should something unexpected happened.

  • We're also monitoring back here in Hawthorne, California in the Lock Support Center now we began propel loading a T minus 35 minutes.

  • After doing the standard poll of 13 people in the countdown to make sure we're ready to go on a propellant load we're currently loaded with feel on the first and the second stage, we're going to ramp up liquid oxygen loading at T minus two minutes.

  • You can see right now on the monitor.

  • The strong back is reclining away from the 70 meter tall falcon.

  • Nine Strong back moves to a position of 77 degrees above horizontal, so it's slightly leaned away from the rocket in preparation for lift off.

  • So the Falcon nine can clear now.

  • We're working no issues on the Falcon.

  • Nine spacecraft is on internal.

  • They're working no issues.

  • Range is ready to support.

  • Weather continues to support, including the upper altitude winds, which are fairly light tonight.

  • So all systems are looking good.

  • At T minus two minutes and counting.

  • Let's listen in to the last minutes of the countdown.

  • A Falcon nine carrying J.

  • C.

  • Set 16 2 Gs stationary transfer orbit and one D TC grand split full pressure and when do you feel complete vehicles and suffering stage one states.

  • You cry helium.

  • They see a secure flight, Steve said.

  • I says Secured BC Confirm if night and start up Falcon nine's and start up stage one.

  • Stage two, Person for flight T minus 30 seconds.

  • Ground you close that complete.

  • T minus 20 seconds.

  • Falcon nine's configured for flight 15 T minus 10.

  • Nine.

  • Hey, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one.

  • Lift off of the falcon nine.

  • 92 hours.

  • No, you're looking at the Falcon nine.

  • Power.

  • Explain through the low atmosphere is it heads into the parking low earth orbit.

  • First stage continues to burn under the power of nine Merlin one D engines.

  • We're already through the throttle down and throttle up phase coming up to trance on it.

  • Let's listen in.

  • Currently, Falcon nine has gone through the supersonic speed transition what we call going Trans sonic.

  • This is also the period of maximum dynamic pressure on the Falcon nine Victuals with loads on the vehicle.

  • A combination of the density of the atmosphere.

  • Lower altitudes in the speed of the rocket create the greatest loads on the Falcon nine.

  • We've just heard the call in that Mbacke chillin Looks good.

  • We've begun passing liquid oxygen to the turbo pump on the second stage engine.

  • Getting that turbo pump cold is we get ready for ignition of the upper stage coming at about T plus two minutes and 44 seconds.

  • We're gonna listen in major activities coming up.

  • Now It's 2.5 minutes into flight will be main engine cut off, followed by stage separation.

  • An upper stage engine ignition.

  • Let's listen in.

  • This is the CM.

  • You hear that the upper stage engine is late, completing the sequence of shit down to the first stage.

  • Separation from the first age and condition of the upper stage engine is we continue on into the low earth orbit that will be the first of two orbits were headed for tonight, the first somewhat circular low earth orbit.

  • Then, after a coast period will go into what is essentially a large egg shaped orbit.

  • The geo stationary transfer orbit, which will take the Falcon nine with the J.

  • C sat 16 spacecraft to an altitude of about 36,000 kilometers.

  • You can see the upper stage, and also here comes bearing separation way separation.

  • With that, let's talk to the team down on the floor.

  • And, as the second stage is carrying the satellite now free of the faring up to that low earth orbit the beginning, that initial low earth orbit before moving to GTO, the first stage is heading back towards the drone ship now.

  • Occasionally, people think that a drone ship landing is harder than a land landing on.

  • That's sort of true, but not for the reasons they think.

  • A low Earth Orbit mission, which can return to either land or the drone ship, is easier than a geo stationary transfer orbit mission, which can land only on the drone ships.

  • That's because a GTO mission requires a lot more speed than low Earth orbit mission.

  • That means it requires more propelling.

  • It even gets a little bit trickier than that.

  • So we've got a nice animation to show you what's up here.

  • We have a picture of the Falcon nine.

  • We zoom in on the first stage.

  • It's got liquid oxygen propellant