SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is set for liftoff from Cape Canaveral early Sunday, heading due east over the Atlantic Ocean to deliver the JCSAT 16 communications satellite into orbit 32 minutes later.
The 229-foot-tall rocket is poised for launch from Complex 40 at 1:26 a.m. EDT (0526 GMT) Sunday at the opening of a 120-minute launch window.
Perched atop the rocket is the JCSAT 16 communications satellite, a spacecraft made by Space Systems/Loral, ready to beam television programming and data services across Japan and the Asia-Pacific. The rocket will place the satellite into a high-altitude geosynchronous transfer orbit.
The timeline below outlines the launch sequence for the Falcon 9 flight with JCSAT 16. It does not include times for the experimental descent and landing attempt of the first stage booster on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
SpaceX’s landing platform is positioned about 370 miles (600 kilometers) east of Cape Canaveral for the first stage landing attempt, which is expected around 10 minutes after liftoff.
SpaceX’s next launch, scheduled for no earlier than May 15, will loft dozens of small test satellites into orbit from Cape Canaveral for the company’s planned Starlink broadband network, with fully operational Starlink spacecraft to follow on future missions, a senior SpaceX official said Tuesday.