Falcon 9 rocket of the SpaceX company will be all set to carry two payloads into the orbit. Scientists believe that this launch will be pretty exciting one. It will be sending five communication satellites for Iridium which needs to get positioned at 500 miles up from the Earth’s surface. However, a NASA mission needs to be executed at the 300-mile mark. At that position, NASA needs to make a pit stop and make a turnout.
The spacecraft will be moving around thousands of miles per hour. The situation would be similar to the dropping a friend midway and then be going away to the next destination. What does this mean? The first stage of the rocket will take up above the earth’s atmosphere. Then it will separate itself and land very successfully. The second stage then will further carry the payload up to the orbit. Generally, at this position, the payload may burn if it does not reach the required altitude and the attitude. Then it is required to deploy the payload. However, in this particular situation of pit stop the circumstances would be slightly different.
The rocket when reaches the mark of 305 lies up from the Earth surface, the programs will make the nose of the rocket dip 30 degrees down and after that roll slightly to put the GRACE-FO satellites in its desired position. One satellite has to point towards the Earth, and the other has to look towards space. Once the entire spacecraft is in position, then the system will eject out both the satellites in their direction at a speed of about one foot per second.
The satellite that will be positioned towards the earth side will be placed at a lower obit than that of the other satellite which will be facing the space. After both satellites have spread across a distance of 137 miles. The smaller spacecraft will move upwards and try to match up with the other one. This synchronization will take place after a few days; however, after 10 minutes of launching the GRACE-FO into space, Falcon 9 is supposed to move further in its journey. In the second phase of its mission, it will be igniting the second stage engine and bring up the Iridium satellites 485 miles up. At this point, the engine will come to a standstill again and remaining of the payload will be delivered.