October 23, 2018

Falcon 9/SpaceX-5 launch timeline


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Follow the key events of the Falcon 9 rocket’s ascent into orbit from Cape Canaveral on SpaceX’s fifth operational resupply mission to the International Space Station. Times for re-entry and landing of the Falcon 9’s first stage have not been released by SpaceX.

Data source: SpaceX

T-0:00:00: Liftoff

After the rocket's nine Merlin engines pass an automated health check, four hold-down clamps will release the Falcon 9 booster for liftoff from Complex 40.
After the rocket’s nine Merlin engines pass an automated health check, four hold-down clamps will release the Falcon 9 booster for liftoff from Complex 40.

T+0:01:10: Mach 1

The Falcon 9 rocket reaches Mach 1, the speed of sound.
The Falcon 9 rocket reaches Mach 1, the speed of sound.

T+0:01:23: Max Q

The Falcon 9 rocket reaches Max Q, the point of maximum aerodynamic pressure.
The Falcon 9 rocket reaches Max Q, the point of maximum aerodynamic pressure.

T+0:02:37: MECO

Moments after two of the Falcon 9's first stage engines shut down, the remaining seven Merlin engines cut off at an altitude of 80 kilometers, or about 50 miles, and a velocity of Mach 10.
Moments after two of the Falcon 9’s first stage engines shut down, the remaining seven Merlin engines cut off at an altitude of 80 kilometers, or about 50 miles, and a velocity of Mach 10.

T+0:02:41: Stage 1 Separation

The Falcon 9's first stage separates from the second stage four seconds after MECO. The spent stage will descend back to Earth for an attempted landing on a barge in the Atlantic Ocean.
The Falcon 9’s first stage separates from the second stage four seconds after MECO. The spent stage will descend back to Earth for an attempted landing on a barge in the Atlantic Ocean.

T+0:02:49: Stage 2 Ignition

The second stage Merlin vacuum engine ignites for a nearly seven-minute burn to inject the Dragon payload into orbit.
The second stage Merlin vacuum engine ignites for a nearly seven-minute burn to inject the Dragon payload into orbit.

T+0:03:29: Nose Cone Jettison

The nose cone covering the Dragon spacecraft's berthing port is jettisoned after the rocket climbs above the dense lower atmosphere.
The nose cone covering the Dragon spacecraft’s berthing port is jettisoned after the rocket climbs above the dense lower atmosphere.

T+0:09:00: First Stage Landing

The Falcon 9's first stage will land on SpaceX's autonomous spaceport drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
The Falcon 9’s first stage will land on SpaceX’s autonomous spaceport drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

T+0:09:27: SECO

The second stage Merlin vacuum engine shuts down after reaching a target orbit with a low point of 310 kilometers (192 miles), a high point of 340 kilometers (211 miles), and an inclination of 51.6 degrees.
The second stage Merlin vacuum engine shuts down after reaching a target orbit with a low point of 199.2 kilometers (123.8 miles), a high point of 365.5 kilometers (227.1 miles), and an inclination of 51.6 degrees.

T+0:10:02: Dragon Separation

The Dragon spacecraft separates from the Falcon 9 second stage to begin pursuit of the International Space Station.
The Dragon spacecraft separates from the Falcon 9 second stage to begin pursuit of the International Space Station.

T+0:12:00: Begin Solar Array Deployment

Dragon's two power-producing solar arrays begin unfolding after their covers are jettisoned. The solar arrays extend 54 feet tip-to-tip.
Dragon’s two power-producing solar arrays begin unfolding after their covers are jettisoned. The solar arrays extend 54 feet tip-to-tip.

Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.


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