SpaceX is about to launch NASA’s Lunar Flashlight satellite, in addition to HAKUTO-R Mission 1, the primary privately led Japanese mission to land on the lunar surface.
The Falcon 9 rocket carrying the payloads will lift off from the Kennedy Space Center within the early hours of Wednesday, November 30 and might be streamed online because it happens. Check below for the precise details on how you can watch.
The briefcase-sized Lunar Flashlight satellite will use lasers to look for water ice in permanently shadowed craters on the moon’s South Pole, exploring places that haven’t seen sunlight in billions of years.
Through the three-month mission, the Lunar Flashlight will use a reflectometer with 4 lasers that emit near-infrared light in wavelengths easily absorbed by surface water ice, NASA said, adding, “Should the lasers hit bare rock or regolith (broken rock and mud), the sunshine will reflect back to the spacecraft. But when the goal absorbs the sunshine, that will indicate the presence of water ice. The greater the absorption, the more ice there could also be.”
It’s hoped that lunar water could in the future be used for astronauts on long-stay moon missions and even help to create rocket fuel for missions launching from the moon to planets corresponding to Mars. Such a breakthrough would make space flights far more efficient, as launching from the moon, which has much less gravitational pull than Earth, would eliminate the necessity for huge rockets and enormous amounts of fuel.
Wednesday’s launch can even carry Japan’s HAKUTO-R lander to space for a lunar landing to deploy a variety of government and personal payloads.
Learn how to watch
SpaceX is aiming to launch its Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 3:39 a.m. ET (12:39 a.m. PT/8:39 a.m. UTC) on Wednesday, November 30.
You’ll be able to watch the launch and early stages of the mission via the video player embedded at the highest of this page. Alternatively, head to SpaceX’s website, which can carry the identical feed. The printed will begin about quarter-hour prior to the launch.
If the launch fails to get away on time, a backup opportunity is accessible on Thursday, December 1, at 3:37 a.m. ET (12:37 a.m. PT/ 8:37 a.m. UTC).
For the newest updates on the mission status, check SpaceX’s Twitter account.
What to anticipate
SpaceX will show its workhorse Falcon 9 rocket blasting off from the Kennedy Space Center, lighting up the Florida sky because it goes. Cameras on the bottom and on the rocket itself will track the early stages of the flight. First-stage separation high above Earth might be livestreamed, as will the booster’s touchdown at Landing Zone 1 a brief distance from the launch site. Also expect detailed commentary on the aim of the mission, in addition to on the flight itself because the rocket heads to space.