SpaceX: SES-22 Launch

SpaceX is planning to launch a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral at 21:04 UTC on 2022-06-29 to place SES-22, a communication satellite for Luxembourg operator SES S.A., into a geostationary transfer orbit to provide television, radio, and Internet service to customers in North America from the 135° West orbital slot.

The Falcon 9 booster, B1073, will be making its second flight and will land on an offshore drone ship. This booster previously launched the Starlink Group 4-15 mission. Weather is forecast as 80% favourable for launch.


The landing was insanely great - they make it look too easy


Especially when you consider that the Merlin engine cannot throttle sufficiently low to hover—its lowest throttle setting produces thrust greater than the weight of the almost-empty first stage. This means that every landing is a “suicide burn”—they have to light the centre engine at just the exact moment so that the stage’s vertical velocity reaches zero when the landing legs touch down. Too soon, and the stage would start going back up before touching down; too late, and the stage hits the landing zone too fast to survive. Doing this routinely is just insanely difficult.


Note that they don’t deliberately use the lowest throttle, but somewhat above that, and starting later than the minimum throttle trajectory. This gives the booster enough throttle authority to adjust the trajectory for the desired zero velocity, zero accel, zero jerk, zero snap at zero altitude.