November 21, 2017

Falcon 9 launch timeline with DSCOVR

Follow the key events of the Falcon 9 rocket’s ascent into space from Cape Canaveral with NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory. Exact times for re-entry and landing of the Falcon 9’s first stage have not been released by SpaceX.

The times below have been updated to reflect the trajectory of the Feb. 10 launch attempt set for 6:03:32 p.m. EST (2303:32 GMT). The rocket will fly east-northeast from Florida’s Space Coast.

Data source: NASA/NOAA/U.S. Air Force

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+0:01:13: 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+0:02:44: MECO

The Falcon 9's nine Merlin 1D engines cut off.
The Falcon 9’s nine Merlin 1D engines cut off.

T+0:02:48: 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+0:02:55: Stage 2 Ignition

The second stage Merlin 1D vacuum engine ignites for an approximately 6-minute burn.
The second stage Merlin 1D vacuum engine ignites for an approximately 6-minute burn.

T+0:03:36: Fairing Jettison

The 5.2-meter (17.1-foot) diameter payload fairing jettisons once the Falcon 9 rocket ascends through the dense lower atmosphere. The 43-foot-tall fairing is made of two clamshell-like halves composed of carbon fiber with an aluminum honeycomb core.

T+0:08:44: SECO 1

The second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket shuts down after completing the first of two burns to inject the Deep Space Climate Observatory on an escape trajectory.
The second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket shuts down after completing the first of two burns to inject the Deep Space Climate Observatory on an escape trajectory.

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+0:30:09: Second Stage Restart

The second stage Merlin 1D vacuum engine reignites for a brief firing to propel the Deep Space Climate Observatory away from Earth.
The second stage Merlin 1D vacuum engine reignites for a brief firing to propel the Deep Space Climate Observatory away from Earth.

T+0:31:07: SECO 2

The Falcon 9's vacuum-rated Merlin engine shuts down after a second burn.
The Falcon 9’s vacuum-rated Merlin engine shuts down after a second burn.

T+0:35:08: DSCOVR Separation

The Deep Space Climate Observatory separates from the Falcon 9 rocket upper stage en route to the L1 libration point.
The Deep Space Climate Observatory separates from the Falcon 9 rocket upper stage en route to the L1 libration point.

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