ANASIS-II | Falcon 9 Block 5

SpaceX will launch South Korea’s first dedicated military communications satellite, ANASIS-II, in July, 2020. The spacecraft will launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex-40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, in Florida. ANASIS-II will be delivered into a geostationary orbit (GEO) over the Korean Peninsula.

Lift Off Time
(Subject to change)
July 20, 2020 – 21:30:00 UTC | 17:30:00 EDT
Mission Name and what it is
ANASIS-II, Army/Navy/Air Force Satellite Information System 2
Launch Provider
(What rocket company is launching it?)
SpaceX
Customer
(who’s paying for this?)

Korean Agency for Defense Development, paid for in a deal with Lockheed Martin.

Rocket
Falcon 9 Block 5 B1058.2
Launch Location
Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40), Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
Payload mass
Undisclosed, previous E3000 satellites have weighed between 4,500 and 6,000 kg.
Where’s the payload going?
Geostationary Orbit (GEO)
How’s the weather?
The weather is currently 70% go for launch
Will they be attempting to recover the first stage?
Yes
Where will the first stage land?
The booster will land 628 km downrange aboard SpaceX’s autonomous spaceport drone ship, Just Read The Instructions
Will they be attempting to recover the fairing?
Yes, it is expected that SpaceX will attempt to catch both fairing halves
This will be the:
  • South Korea’s first dedicated military satellite
  • 90th launch of a Falcon 9
  • 57th booster landing
  • 13th mission for SpaceX in 2020
  • Shortest turnaround of a booster (51 days)
Where to watch
SpaceX official Stream

Tim Dodd, the Everyday Astronaut, will be streaming. Starting at T-30 minutes; Come ask questions and join the conversation live!

If you happen to be in the area, here’s where you can watch in person!

Graphic by Geoff Barrett Rocket by Stanley Creative

ANASIS-II Payload

ANASIS-II, previously known as KMilSatCom-1, is South Korea’s first dedicated military satellite. It was paid for by Lockheed Martin as part of an agreement in which, the South Korean government purchased 40 F-35 fighter jets in exchange for a military communications satellite. This mission will end the country’s dependence on the Mugunghwa-5 satellite, which they currently use in conjunction with Korea Telecom.

Due to the sensitive nature of the satellite, not much is publicly known about it. We do, however, know that Lockheed subcontracted the spacecraft to Airbus, who have based it of their Eurostar E3000 satellite bus. The spacecraft will be launched into a geostationary orbit over the Korean Peninsula to facilitate the needs of the country’s military in the region.

ANASIS-II in its folded configuration for transport and launch. Credit: Airbus Defense and Space.

Mission Profile

First Stage

The first stage of Falcon 9 will burn for approximately two and a half minutes before shutting off and separating from the second stage and ANASIS-II. The first stage will then perform an entry burn, cutting the velocity of the first stage roughly in half. After this, Falcon 9 will perform a landing burn landing softly on SpaceX’s ASDS Just Read The Instructions, approximately nine minutes after launch.

Fairing Recovery

About 210 seconds after launch the second stage will jettison its fairings. The fairings are expected to be recovered using SpaceX’s two recovery vessels: Go Ms. Tree and Go Ms. Chief. After being jettisoned, the two fairing halves will then use cold gas thrusters to orientate themselves as they descend through the atmosphere. Once at a lower altitude, they will deploy parafoils to help them glide down to a soft landing either in the nets or in the ocean.

The Falcon Heavy center core for the Arabsat-6A mission landing on OCISLY (Credit: SpaceX)

What is Falcon 9 Block 5?

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket first flew in 2010. Since that time, Falcon 9 has flown for a total of 89 times. 86 of those launches being fully successful, one partially successful (CRS-1), one ground anomaly (AMOS-6), and one in-flight failure (CRS-7). ANASIS-II will be the launch vehicle’s 90th flight. Over the years, it has gone through several upgrades and iterations. The current version is Falcon 9 Block 5, which was introduced in 2018 and is the only version of Falcon 9 currently flying.

The Block 5 is the final iteration of the Falcon 9 and is rated to carry humans into orbit. Block 5’s goal was to apply all the lessons that SpaceX learned from the 56 Falcon 9 launches before block 5 into a human-rated, reusable rocket, capable of sending Crew Dragon into orbit.

Falcon 9 rocket launching a Starlink mission.
Falcon 9 rocket launching a Starlink mission. (Credit: Tim Dodd, Everyday Astronaut)

Human-rating

The first change NASA required to human-rate the Falcon 9 was to put it into a design freeze. Before Block 5, no two Falcon 9s were the same, according to a SpaceX representative. Because of these continual improvements, NASA required SpaceX to fly seven missions in a row with no changes to the launch vehicle.

The second major change required the addition of a redesigned carbon over-wrapped pressure vessel (COPV). It was COPVs in the upper stage that caused the two previous Falcon 9 failures (AMOS-6 and CRS-7).

Reusability Tweaks

There were also many modifications in the Block 5 booster stage related to better reusability that were not critical for human-rating. SpaceX reinforced the landing legs, upgraded the grid fins, added a carbon fiber interstage, added a heat resistant external paint, and upgraded the engines. For more information about the changes in Block 5, and the other Blocks of the Falcon 9, check out this video by the Everyday Astronaut:

Falcon 9 Block 5
Tim Dodd, The Everyday Astronaut, explaining all the versions of the Falcon 9 rocket, from Version 1.0 to the Block 5. (Click on the image to watch the video)

Falcon 9 Booster 1058

The booster supporting this mission is B1058. To prepare for launch, the booster was static fired on July 11, 2020. There are several firsts for this booster. First of all, the first flight of this booster was on SpaceX Demonstration Mission-2, launching NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station on May 30, 2020. On top of being the first Falcon 9 booster to launch humans, this will mark the fastest turn around of a SpaceX booster to date at around 51 days. This turn around is 26% faster than SpaceX’s old record of 63 days.

In conclusion, Anasis-II will be its second flight, which changes the booster’s designation to 1058.2.

20 comments
  1. I’m a Korean who is interested in rockets and things. But I can’t figure out what the name is in korean. Does anyone know what the Korean name is?

    1. I do not know korean, but SpaceX showed a clip of Dr. Sae Kyu Nam, and he refered to it in korean as ANASIS-II

    2. ???? 2 is the Korean name as referenced in Korean newspapers which if pronounced is just as it sounds in English Anasis.

      1. Looks like this forum won’t let me put Korean characters but I did read it on Korean news sites and it’s literally pronounced the same in English

    1. It’s not common for research satellites compared to other kinds because of less demand and cost is high for a satellite

    2. Because they are necessary for the safety and innovation of most first world countries.

    3. To spy and do military stuff and then spy some more and do more military stuff with newer versions and then to spy and do military stuff with even newer versions….see the pattern?

  2. So, if I want to have my own satelite, I just have to buy 40 F35’s? SWEEEET!

    1. Koreans got lucky there was a Groupon deal that a free satellite comes with every 40 F-35’s purchased.

  3. Error report: Regarding the drone the 1st stage will be landing on, you have “Of Course I Still Love You” in the Mission Profile, but “Just Read The Instructions” in the summary. Should be the latter according to SpaceLaunchNow,

    1. The text was correct at the time of writing. It’s changed due to the switch in launch order between this and the next StarLink mission. Thanks for pointing it out though!

  4. Thank you for the great articles! Does anyone know why the Falcon 9 has 4 variants (V1.0, V1.1, V1.2 and Block 5) but the fourth is called block 5?

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