SpaceX has launched its Falcon 9 rocket carry high up NASA’s sun-sniffing DSCOVR satellite, bound to take up position in deep space past Earth orbit and warn humanity of hazardous solar storms.
Tragically, severe ocean climate has kept SpaceX from attempting to land the lower stage of the reusable Falcon 9 back on Earth.
The rocket launched from Cape Canaveral following four days of postponements, principally caused by cloud and wind but also by a failure in the tracking radar used by the ground station. Liftoff was on schedule at 1505 Pacific Time (2305 UTC) and all systems are looking great thus far.
The rocket is conveying the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) or – as it’s known at NASA – GoreSat. The brainchild of the previous VP, the satellite is intended to monitor solar wind patterns and give an early warning system against solar flares.
The bird was racked for 8-years somewhere around 2000 and 2008, however has been brushed off for use. It was due to liftoff in December until an Orbital Sciences Antares rocket blasted – an Antares craft should convey DSCOVR to space, so SpaceX needed to venture in and also supply the International Space Station in a hurry.
Accepting all things go as arranged, the Falcon 9 rocket will boost the satellite well clear of low-Earth orbit and into space proper – a first for the delivery system. The satellite will then make its way to the L1 Lagrange point and utilize the gravitational attraction of the Sun and Earth to hold it in position 1,500,000 kilometers (930,000 mi) away.
SpaceX had been planning to land the lower half of its Falcon booster on its hovering space-pad so it can be reused, yet an intense storm has moved into the region, off the Florida coast. There are reports of fifty foot waves breaking over the semisubmersible stage, and one of its four engines has been disabled.