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  • It's 1 a.m. Eastern time on Friday, May 6th, and you're looking at a live view of Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral, Florida Space X Falcon nine rocket, you see, is approaching a 1:21 a.m. Eastern launch of J.

  • C.

  • Sat 14 Good morning or evening, depending on where you are tuning in from here at Space six headquarters in Hawthorne, California we're getting ready for tonight's launch of Jaycee Sat 14 to geosynchronous transfer orbit.

  • My name is Kate Thais, and I am a process improvement engineer here at Mission Control Center in Hawthorne, California.

  • Like I said, we're anticipating our lift off of 1:21 a.m. Eastern time.

  • We're launching from Cape Canaveral tonight's and we are attempting a drone ship landing, too.

  • Of course I still love you, which is located a couple 100 miles off the coast of Florida.

  • As usual, you can expect to live shots from all across the walk all across the rocket all the way through payload deployment.

  • Got a lot going on.

  • So let's get started.

  • Hi.

  • I'm Michael Hamersley, materials engineer for our avionics department.

  • I'm behind me.

  • You can see the deep, dark velvet obscured somewhat by some beautiful smoke of the Florida night sky.

  • There it is.

  • Clearing up again.

  • Uh, this is the fourth flight of the Falcon nine upgrade vehicle carrying J C.

  • San 14 towards a geo stationary orbit.

  • If you joined us before then you're very familiar with what this pad set up looks like.

  • If not, you can see the Falcon nine rocket.

  • Of course, in the middle.

  • This is the first stage which is the excuse me, which is what does the heavy lifting getting the rocket to the edge of space.

  • It will then separate from the second stage and the first Egil continue on towards the drone ship.

  • Of course I still love you.

  • The second stage, which is carrying the satellite in the top part here.

  • This is the fairing or the nose cone just surrounding protecting the satellite.

  • The second stage will do to burns tonight.

  • It will first get us into low earth orbit moving at about eight kilometers per second on it will then coast for about 15 minutes or so to a second burn to kick it into a geo stationary transfer orbit, which is what gets the satellite to its final position.

  • Some other things you'll notice this is the strong back or the transporter Erector.

  • It supports the vehicle while it's standing before launch, and it also actually brings the vehicle out and tips it up right in preparation.

  • You'll notice several lightning towers surrounding it, and that's to protect it from Aaron Lightning strikes.

  • Given how frequently Florida has storms, a lot of lightning.

  • You can see the flame trench down here once the rocket starts lifting off.

  • Of course, the flame that is producing is almost a CZ.

  • Long as the rocket itself is tall gets channeled safely out towards the side.

  • You'll also see that there's a little bit of what looks like smoke that's totally normal.

  • The rocket is just so cold you'll notice a mission Progress bar below that you can use to follow, along with the important events and a countdown timer the top right of your screen to keep track about.

  • Hey, I'm John Federer's feel a lead mechanical design engineer.

  • Here.

  • It's basics, and I'm sure by now you know we're here to launch a really cool satellite into Geo Stationary Transfer orbit or GTO.

  • That satellite of course, is J.

  • C.

  • Sat 14 which once fully operational, provide four K television as well as communication service is for both the maritime and aviation industries.

  • We're also today gonna be continuing our experimental efforts to recover our first stage back on the drone ship.

  • Of course I still love you.

  • And to put this effort into perspective from July of 1950 right up until today, the 45th Space Wing at Cape Canaveral in Florida has supported well over 3000 rocket launches.

  • Of those launches, only five have ever attended to recover and land.

  • The first stage of the rocket last December or commission was the first to stick a landing back at Landing Zone one in Cape Canaveral, and we successfully test fired that rocket a few weeks later.

  • And about a month ago, we were also able to be the first ever to land a rocket on a drone ship in the middle of the ocean.

  • That rocket is also in good shape, and our nets next step will be to test fire back at the Cape or at a rocket development facility in Texas.

  • Now, today we're doing something a bit more difficult.

  • Given this mission's GTO destination.

  • The first stage will be subject to some extreme velocities in re entry heating, making a successful landing much more unlikely.

  • But later on we'll find out exactly what this entails, as well as some rocket science.

  • One No.

  • One.

  • But let's check in with the other John for a quick status update.

  • Hello, I'm John, his burger talking nine principal engineer.

  • I'll be bringing you status updates from my desk here.

  • A TTE the Webcast headquarters in space sex headquarters here in Hawthorne, California knots.

  • Late evening here in California, but we still have the employees gathering for another Falcon nine launch now.

  • Currently, we're deep into the launch auto sequence.

  • That's where the computers air commanding the ground in the Falcon nine vehicle hardware to get it ready for the planned on time launch.

  • Coming up in 15.5 minutes.

  • Let's take a look at the status for the wash Good news.

  • The Falcon 19 very nominal countdown that working no significant issues right now, after yesterday's bad weather, we actually rolled out to the pad, used the afternoon to get out there early at about T minus 25 hours.

  • A couple hours with after that way were vertical on the launch pad.

  • We've had a fairly quiet day.

  • Just getting the pad ready.

  • We've gone into the actual power on testing of the Falcon.

  • Nine were now in propellant load T minus 35 minutes.

  • We began loading liquid oxygen into the first stage and kerosene feel into both the first and second stages.

  • Second stage is now complete with feel load.

  • We're also loading second states liquid oxygen on.

  • So as I said Falcon, I kind of got working.

  • No issues.

  • J.

  • C sent spacecraft.

  • They did their check out's at about T minus 10 hours while we're vertical.

  • Earlier today, they've gone through their functional checks there right now, in the middle of transferring to internal power.

  • They started that at T minus 30 minutes.

  • We'll get an update on them when I give you the next status report.

  • Range reports that they are ready to support safety systems.

  • Tracking systems are ready and finally on the weather.

  • We've been looking at the ground level winds, but they're predicted to be good.

  • We're checking the upper altitude.

  • Everything still looking good.

  • So a T minus 14 minutes and counting.

  • Everything's looking good from the case the satellite will be launching will be providing television, including ultra HD for Katie, Be to millions of homes in the age of Pacific region, but not just TV.

  • It will also be providing communications for Emergency Service's and disaster recovery efforts.

  • Company that owns this satellite is Sky Perfect Jason.

  • They're the largest satellite operator in Asia, and those satellites are way out there.

  • We're talking 90 times further from Earth than where the space stations.

  • Now that's a huge distance.

  • And it's amazing to think that what a technological marvel at its to be able to beam a signal to that distance out in space and then back down to our homes.

  • Now the signal weakens over that long journey to the Sabbath with satellite takes that signal, amplifies it and then beings it back to her.

  • This'll satellite has a unique look.

  • It's definitely on the larger side, and it contains multiple antenna.

  • Who's arrangement may look unusual at first, but those Benz and turns are specifically designed for the Japanese lands.

  • Those patterns of bending focus the signal so that it's stronger over Japanese land where people are instead of having too much coverage over Japanese Ocean where people are not.

  • Of course, television is great.

  • But in emergency situations, seemingly simple service is like making a phone call are essential.

  • During the Great East Japan earthquake of 2011 there was significant damage to Japan's earth based communications infrastructure, including landlines.

  • Sky Perfect J SAT provided satellite bandwidth to government and public organizations to put affected areas in touch with disaster response first.

  • So there you have it.

  • A quick snapshot of J.

  • C.

  • Town 14 and many of its capabilities.

  • Okay, so we've got about 12 minutes until lift off.

  • As you can see, the crowd is growing behind me in anticipation of last off.

  • Now.

  • Crowd may not be as large as you may be used to seeing.

  • That's because it is late at night here in California.

  • Most of us are at home with their families, watching on line like yourself.

  • So now let's go for a little bit about what we are launching and who we're launching.

  • Like Michael Set sights Payload is J.

  • C.

  • Sat 14 a commercial communications and television broadcasting satellite for one of Asia's leading satellite operators, Sky perfect Jason.

  • This satellite will service Asia, Russia, Oshi, Anna and the Pacific Islands with ultra HD four K television programming and mobile communications for the maritime and aviation.

  • That means in home hi def streaming of your favorite movie or an important soccer playoff game, as well as communication for boats and airplanes in the Pacific included in that package capabilities to deliver passenger cabin WiFi and something I'm a big fan of in flight movies.

  • This satellite has another job to do, though.

  • In addition, in the event of a disaster, J C 14 will also be able to provide communications for emergency service's and disaster recovery.

  • So if ground lines happen to be damaged in a natural disaster, this satellite will help connect people from the sky.

  • We're sending it to geosynchronous transfer orbit.

  • That's 35,786 kilometers away.

  • In order for us to get it there, the vehicle requires a velocity of Mach 30 37,000 kilometres per hour.

  • That's about 13.5 times faster than a speeding bullet, so Jason will talk a little bit later about why we're sending it that far away.

  • But like I said, This is a communication satellite, and it's gonna be focusing on the Asia packed region.

  • So if you think of my fist as Earth Way, want satellite to be able to match the rotation of urgent of earth, so we have to send it that far away to do so.

  • So we're at looks like 10 T minus 10 and we're really excited of the upcoming launch.

  • Eso on its way back to the drone ship.

  • We're not back to the drone ship.

  • The first stage has three systems to control its absolute position as well as its yaw pitch and roll on many thanks to Logan sister, our integration specialists for walking me through some of those you've heard about the grid fins, which pop out like little t rex arms on rotates to control some of that motion wth e engines as well, which can also rotate about the base called gimbal ing to give it some directionality on.

  • Then you've got these two a.

  • C s upon thrusters stands for attitude control system.

  • Thes two ponds sit at the top of the interstate.

  • Each pod actually has four different thrusters.

  • One points directly out.

  • You have to pointing in either side into a wave into the camera, away from the camera on then one, pointing down the same direction as the engines.

  • It's easy to see what the sideways ones do.

  • They roll the vehicle on.

  • The ones that point out are for flipping the vehicle after a sense.

  • So it's continuing its parabolic.

  • Aren't this a CS thruster will fire, and it will rotate until it starts descending engines first.

  • But why would it have a thruster pointed down the same direction as these much more powerful engines?

  • Uh, and it's because during during this ascent, it's basically in freefall at that point, which means it's in zero gravity.

  • And just like astronauts that are floating around in zero gravity, the fuel inside the first stage is also floating around in zero gravity, so the liquid oxygen and R P one kerosene propellants need to be kicked back to the engine so that they can be used.

  • So as it's turned around, they're a couple fires are firing impulses that settle all that fuel down on.

  • Then, as of course, it descends, the grid fins work and the landing engine burns will slow it down to land on the drone ship, which again?

  • Fingers crossed way.

  • Hope we see later tonight we're t minus eight minutes and three seconds, and we're continuing to count down for an on time launch at 21 minutes after the hour.

  • We're continuing to quickly step through the automated sequence, which controls both the ground systems and the Falcon.

  • Nine.

  • There's minimal involvement by the Space six launch team.

  • Right now.

  • The computer's pretty much have control of the sequence.

  • Now, T minus 38 minutes before we came on, the air team was pulled.

  • 13 members were checked by the Space X Launch Conductor for their readiness to go into what we call the launch auto sequence.

  • T minus 35 minutes.

  • We went into propellant loading.

  • We have finished loading feel onto the second stage way.

  • Are currently loading liquid oxygen on the boat, the first and second stages that's going to continue up until about T minus two minutes.

  • Way load.

  • Liquid oxygen on is late as we can.

  • We want to keep it as cold as possible.

  • Keep it identified.

  • Get the maximum performance out of the Falcon nine engines.

  • The Falcon nine systems.

  • So currently prop low continues to look good.

  • There are a few events coming up that air.

  • Significant it.

  • Just inside of 5.5 minutes.

  • About 90 seconds from now, the guidance system will begin alignment.

  • That's making sure that we know where we are and we're ready to head out into space.

  • Just inside of T minus five minutes will pressurize the first, and the second stage is that's to get ready to open the clamp arms around the second stage and begin retracting the strongman.

  • That will happen at about T minus three minus three minutes, 25 seconds.

  • It takes a little while to see some motion on the screen, but then the stronger it starts, the pick up speed isn't losing weight.

  • And then, of course, the T minus two minutes We finished problem.

  • J.

  • C.

  • SAT spacecraft has gone internal.

  • They're ready for launch ranges.

  • Go.

  • We're looking at ground level winds, but they're still good within a few miles an hour limit.

  • So we think we're gonna be good.

  • So T minus six minutes all since will continue to be good.

  • And Kate, late 17th century Isaac Newton builds off your honest Kepler's planetary motion laws when he developed the law of universal gravitation.

  • It's this same law which affects this tennis ball when I toss it back up in the air and it comes down which we need to overcome to bring the spacecraft into orbit.

  • Now space is generally defined as being 100 kilometers away from the surface of the earth, also known as a karman line.

  • But if I simply threw this ball 100 kilometers up, it's gonna come roaring back down in a few minutes.

  • That's because at that distance the earth's gravity is still about 97% of what we feel right here on the surface.

  • To get and stay in orbit, we need to not only go really high to get out the Earth's atmosphere, we also need to go really fast sideways for geo stationary transformer missions waken approach speeds of up to 37,000 kilometres per hour and since kinetic energy is a square velocity, this could require 100 times as much energy to chief orbit than it does achieve sub orbit.

  • First gravity now acts as a centripetal force.

  • Turning our spacecraft around the earth is also known as an orbit.

  • Think of the spacecraft as this tennis ball and this string as the Earth's gravity.

  • When we're in orbit, gravity is now spinning us around.

  • The center of the Earth Way could stay up here almost indefinitely now the two most common orbits that satellites reside in our low earth orbit, which spans to about 2000 kilometers away from the service of the Earth, going from there to geo stationary orbit at 35,000 700 86 kilometers.

  • That's our ultimate destination today for the satellite, and if I place a satellite with the right velocity at this distance, it will be in a stable orbit by Newton's first law, the force of Earth's gravity.

  • A line of the center of the earth will constantly change the satellite's direction, just like a tennis ball in strength earlier, and we will stay up here like I mentioned earlier as well, almost indefinitely.

  • But bring us right back here on Earth way have began the final preparation of the Rocket, and you will see in a few moments here.

  • That's strong back, starting to retract as we're right leading up to the last few seconds of launch at T minus one minute, Mark.

  • Our flight computers are gonna enter into start up mode.

  • At that moment, we're gonna begin a series of final autonomous checks across the hundreds of sensors we have in the rocket.

  • And that leads into the T minus three second mark worth of base.

  • The rocket.

  • Look for a bright green flash come from the engines.

  • That's kind of like our lighter starting a gas grill.

  • This is what kicks the engines.

  • Those nine Merlin engines are gonna fully ignite, reaching full thrust just one second before lift off.

  • When we have some hold down clamps, those clamps are gonna check.

  • He the up the force coming out of the rocket.

  • That moment and we're going to release the rocket.

  • You're actually starting to see that strong back begins to pull away.

  • And those final moments are going are occurring on the vehicle after lift off of the T minus zero.

  • Mark, listen, In 10 seconds to launch, you're gonna hear one of our operators call out the phrase starting pitch.

  • This means that we're no longer going just straight up way.

  • Have started angling our rockets sideways to put J C set into orbit RG and see engineers or guidance navigation controls optimize our trajectory to both minimize the atmospheric drag as well as the gravity losses.

  • Because until we reach the orbital velocity that I mentioned earlier, gravity is just pulling us back down to Earth and thus slowing us down.

  • So now, with just a little over two minutes left way, it's basics invite you to listen into the final moments of our countdown sequence and make sure that you're listening to those words starting pitching because you'll know what that very moment that we are on our way into orbit.