On Friday (December 13), SpaceX tested a two-time Reusable Falcon 9 rocket at about 13:20 P.m. EST (18:20 GMT) on Friday. The Falcon 9 rocket was billowing smoke from its engine during a pre-flight test, and the short ignition test, known as the still fire test, was the standard part of the pre-launch program and one of the last major milestones before launch.
(Pictured: On December 16, 2019, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the JCSAT 18/Kacific 1 communications satellite at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. )
During the test, the first stage of the rocket was crushed and the engine was briefly ignited, allowing the crew to ensure that all systems were working and that the rocket was ready to fly.
Shortly after the test was completed, SpaceX tweeted that the test had been successful and that it planned to launch on December 16.
“The Falcon 9’s static ignition test has been completed, with the goal of launching JCSAT-18/Kaficci 1 from launch pad 40 in Florida on December 16,” SpaceX said on Twitter. ”
Hidden inside the rocket cone, a huge communications satellite will be launched that will provide broadband coverage for Japan and the Pacific islands. The 15,335-pound (6,956-kilogram) satellite, built by Boeing, will move itself into a 2,200-mile geostationary orbit over the Earth’s equator after separating it from the Falcon’s final stage.
“Kacific 1 will provide high-speed broadband services to countries with a high population, where internet connectivity is expensive,” kacific officials said at a news conference. Many of these countries are islands, or have rugged mountains and large rural areas, making satellite technology the best, and sometimes the only, way to connect to the Internet and telephone networks. ”
The services provided by the satellite will be particularly beneficial to medical and educational workers in villages throughout the South Pacific, and broadband access will provide important communication channels for areas frequently affected by natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis.
The flight was SpaceX’s 13th this year and its second in two weeks. The Falcon 9 was last launched on December 5, when it delivered a new shipment to the space station.
The Falcon 9 booster, launched next Monday, has a wealth of flying experience, having previously hoisted two different cargo holdes in the CRS-17 in May and the CRS-18 in July. About eight minutes after launch, SpaceX plans to land the first stage of the rocket on one of the company’s two unmanned ships, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.