The Kennedy Space Center will host two launches on Thursday. One of the launches is set to be one of the SpaceX Falcon 9 which will carry the Hispasat, a Spanish satellite, while the second launch will be the one of the Lockheed Martin’s Atlas 5 which will deploy the advanced NOAA’s GOES-S weather satellite.
Falcon 9 will deploy a Spanish commercial satellite
The SpaceX Falcon 9 and Atlas 5 spacecraft will launch from the Kennedy Space Center’s Complex 40 and 41, respectively, which were constructed in the 60s and are departed by only 2.4 kilometers.
Falcon 9 will carry the Hispasat 30W-6 which is a Spanish commercial satellite designed and built in Palo Alto, California, by SSL. Hispasat 30W-6 satellite has the goal of substituting an old telecommunication satellite which has been launched in September 2002.
SpaceX has postponed the Hispasat 30W-6 launch which was initially set for Sunday due to a supplementary examination of the Falcon 9’s pressurization system.
The Atlas 5 mission
The Atlas 5 rocket is established to launch the new-generation NOAA GOES-S weather satellite.
NOOA GOES-S is designed to assist meteorologists to track hurricanes, tornadoes, as well as smaller storms, and wildland fires that may occur in the Pacific Ocean and the Western USA.
The Atlas 5 rocket will be set on Complex 41 launch pad tomorrow morning (Wednesday, February 28th) and on Thursday morning the countdown will begin.
A new space race between private contractors has began
Recently, once again, the rocket launches became frequent and all of them are set by private contractors.It’s definitely a new space race between private contractors but NASA will most probably join the race as it has already successfully tested one of its rockets.
It will be amazing when this space race will become a space race for space exploration, instead of deploying satellites.
Until then, if everything goes as expected, the Kennedy Space Center will host two launches on Thursday, one of the SpaceX Falcon 9 and one of the Lockheed Martin’s Atlas 5.