Track the progress of the launch and landing of SpaceX’s upgraded Falcon 9 rocket carrying 11 Orbcomm message relay satellites with this timeline of major events in the flight sequence.
The 229-foot-tall rocket is scheduled to blast off from Cape Canaveral’s Complex 40 launch pad at 8:29 p.m. EST Monday (0129 GMT Tuesday) on its 20th flight, and the first in a new configuration with uprated engines, colder, densified propellant and a modified staging system.
The rocket is targeting deployment of the 11 Orbcomm satellites, each weighing about 380 pounds (172 kilograms), in the first 20 minutes of the mission. The flight is shooting for a nearly circular orbit with a high point of 410 miles (660 kilometers), a low point of 385 miles (620 kilometers), and an inclination of 47 degrees.
The first stage booster will aim for landing back at Cape Canaveral near the launch pad about 10 minutes after liftoff in an experimental maneuver SpaceX intends to advance its reusability research and development program.
Data source: SpaceX and Orbcomm
NOTE: Times are approximate. Unlike most commercial launch operators, SpaceX does not release exact times of some flight events.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 11:44 p.m. EDT Wednesday (0344 GMT Thursday) from pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station with the next 60 Starlink internet satellites. The Falcon 9’s first stage booster landed on SpaceX’s drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean nearly nine minutes after launch, completing its seventh trip to space and back.
Two U.S.-built commercial communications satellites moved to their last stop on Earth on Tuesday, when an Ariane 5 rocket rolled out to a launch pad at the edge of the Amazon jungle on the eve of liftoff.
China’s second Long March 5 rocket fell short of orbit Sunday after lifting off from a spaceport in the southern Chinese province of Hainan, placing a cloud over the country’s plans to send a robotic sample return mission to the moon later this year.