Falcon Heavy launch
- November 7, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Falcon Heavy launch
Subject :Science and Technology
Context: The Falcon Heavy launch: the most powerful operational rocket in the world
What are the specifications of the Falcon Heavy rocket?
- SpaceX claims Falcon Heavy to be the most powerful rocket in the world today by a factor of two. With a lifting capacity of around 64 metric tonnes into orbit, Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy.
When was the Falcon Heavy last launched?
- SpaceX last launched its Falcon Heavy rocket in June 2019 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. It carried 24 satellites as part of the Department of Defense’s Space Test Program-2.
What about the other launches of Falcon Heavy ?
- The Falcon Heavy debuted in 2018 when SpaceX CEO Elon Musk sent his personal red Tesla Roadster, an electric sports car with a dummy driver, into space as a test payload.
- There’s a sweet spot above the Earth where a satellite can match the same rotation of the Earth. This special position in high Earth orbit is known as a geosynchronous orbit.
- If you are an observer on the ground, you would see the satellite as if it’s in a fixed position without movement.
- This makes geosynchronous satellites particularly useful for telecommunications and other remote sensing applications.
While geosynchronous satellites can have any inclination, the key difference from geostationary orbit is the fact that they lie on the same plane as the equator.
Geostationary orbits fall in the same category as geosynchronous orbits, but it’s parked over the equator. This one special quality makes it unique from geosynchronous orbits.
Weather monitoring satellites like GOES are in geostationary orbits because they have a constant view of the same area. In a high Earth orbit, it’s also useful for search and rescue beacons.
Here’s how both orbits compare:
While the geostationary orbit lies on the same plane as the equator, the geosynchronous satellites have a different inclination. – This is the key difference between the two types of orbits.
Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites are in another sweet spot known as semi-synchronous orbits. While geosynchronous orbits match the rotation of Earth (24 hours), semi-synchronous orbits take 12 hours to complete an orbit.
Instead of 35,786 kilometers above the Earth’s surface, semi-synchronous orbits are approximately 20,200 kilometers above the surface. This puts them in the medium Earth orbit range out of the three classes of orbits.
These orbits are close to zero in eccentricity, meaning they are near-circular. Eccentric orbits define how stretched orbits are. The closer eccentricity is to zero, the more the orbit closer to a circle. The closer to one, the orbit becomes longer and skinnier.