SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is set for liftoff from Cape Canaveral on Friday evening, heading due east over the Atlantic Ocean to deliver the SES 9 television broadcast satellite into orbit 31 minutes later.
The 229-foot-tall rocket is poised for launch from Complex 40 at 6:35 p.m. EST (2335 GMT) Friday at the opening of a 91-minute launch window.
Perched atop the rocket is the SES 9 communications satellite, a 11,620-pound (5,271-kilogram) spacecraft made by Boeing, ready to beam television programming, data services and mobile connectivity to homes, businesses, ships and airplanes in the Asia-Pacific and the Indian Ocean region.
The timeline below outlines the launch sequence for the Falcon 9 flight with SES 9. It does not include times for the experimental descent and landing attempt of the first stage booster, which SpaceX says is unlikely to succeed due to the high speed required for the SES 9 launch.
SpaceX’s landing platform is positioned about 400 miles (650 kilometers) east of Cape Canaveral for the first stage landing attempt, which is expected around 10 minutes after liftoff.
SpaceX is readying a Falcon 9 rocket booster for launch Monday at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, on a record-setting mission with 64 smallsats on-board that will also mark the launch provider’s first use of the same first stage for a third flight.
European engineers who developed a small satellite hitching a ride to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX supply ship Monday are gearing up for a first-of-a-kind experiment to examine ways to snare a chunk of space junk and tug it back to Earth.
A small Japanese satellite scheduled for launch Friday on a Rocket Lab Electron booster will release hundreds of colorful sky pellets to fall into the atmosphere next year, creating an artificial meteor shower that could be visible to millions.