SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is set for liftoff from Cape Canaveral on Friday afternoon, heading due east over the Atlantic Ocean to deliver the BulgariaSat 1 communications satellite into orbit 35 minutes later.
The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) rocket is poised for launch from pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 2:10 p.m. EDT (1810 GMT) Friday at the opening of a two-hour launch window.
Perched atop the rocket is the BulgariaSat 1 communications satellite, a spacecraft made by Space Systems/Loral, ready to beam television programming across Bulgaria and neighboring countries in the Balkans. The rocket will place the satellite into a high-altitude “supersynchronous” transfer orbit.
The timeline below outlines the launch sequence for the Falcon 9 flight with BulgariaSat 1, SpaceX’s second launch with a previously-flown first stage booster.
A slide wire escape system has been undergoing tests at launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in readiness for the first SpaceX Crew Dragon flight to carry astronauts to the International Space Station.
United Launch Alliance fired an Atlas 5 rocket into space from Cape Canaveral at 9:14 a.m. EDT (1314 GMT) Sunday with the U.S. Air Force’s X-37B spaceplane, an automated reusable mini-space shuttle designed to host experiments for years in orbit, then return to Earth and land on a runway. A launch attempt Saturday was scrubbed by bad weather.
Gearing up for a predawn blastoff July 31, launch crews have positioned a Delta 4-Heavy rocket in the starting blocks on a seaside launch complex at Cape Canaveral as engineers inside a tightly-controlled clean room a few miles away put the final touches on a NASA probe that will travel closer to the sun than any mission before.