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
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.
T+0:01:24: Max Q
The Falcon 9 rocket reaches Max Q, the point of maximum aerodynamic pressure.
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 moments after MECO.
T+0:03:06: Stage 2 Ignition
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.
T+0:25:42: Second Stage Restart
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.
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.
T+0:35:08: Eutelsat 115 West B Separation
The Eutelsat 115 West B satellite, with a launch mass of about 2,200 kilograms (4,850 pounds), deploys from the Falcon 9 rocket.
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