July 30, 2021

Falcon 9 launch timeline with Eutelsat 115 West B and ABS 3A


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Follow the key events of the Falcon 9 rocket’s ascent into space from Cape Canaveral with the Eutelsat 115 West B and ABS 3A communications satellites.

Launch is set for 10:50 p.m. EST on March 1 (0350 GMT on March 2) from Cape Canaveral’s Complex 40 launch pad. The satellites will be deployed in a supersynchronous transfer orbit with perigee of approximately 400 kilometers (250 miles), an apogee of 63,000 kilometers (39,146 miles) and an inclination of 24.8 degrees.

Updated March 1 with correct orbit targets.

Data source: ABS

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+0:01:24: 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+0:02:56: MECO

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

T+0:02:58: 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 moments after MECO.

T+0:03:06: 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+0:03:51: 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+0:08:50: 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.

T+0:25:42: 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 place the payload in the correct orbit for deployment.

T+0:26:41: 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+0:30:08: ABS 3A Separation

The ABS 3A spacecraft, with a launch mass of approximately 2,000 kilograms (4,400 pounds), deploys from the dual-payload stack on the Falcon 9 rocket.
The ABS 3A spacecraft, with a launch mass of approximately 2,000 kilograms (4,400 pounds), deploys from the dual-payload stack on the Falcon 9 rocket.

T+0:35:08: Eutelsat 115 West B Separation

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The Eutelsat 115 West B satellite, with a launch mass of about 2,200 kilograms (4,850 pounds), deploys from the Falcon 9 rocket.

Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.


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