EDITOR’S NOTE: Updated Dec. 19, Dec. 21 and Dec. 22 with new target launch dates.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is set for liftoff from Cape Canaveral on Sunday carrying the U.S. Air Force’s first GPS 3-series navigation satellite destined for an orbit more than 12,000 miles above Earth.
The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) rocket is poised for launch from pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 8:51 a.m. EST (1351 GMT) Sunday at the opening of a 26-minute launch window.
The Lockheed Martin-built GPS 3 SV01 satellite mounted atop the rocket is the first member of an upgraded generation of GPS navigation spacecraft, featuring higher-power signals that are more resilient to jamming, and additional broadcast frequencies to make the GPS network more interoperable with other navigation satellite fleets.
The Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage booster will not be recovered on this launch due to the performance required to place the GPS satellite into its intended orbit, while allowing for a fuel reserve to de-orbit the Falcon 9’s upper stage at the end of the mission.
The timeline below outlines the launch sequence for the Falcon 9 flight with the GPS 3 SV01 spacecraft.
See our Mission Status Center for details on the launch.
Data source: SpaceX
T+0:01:04: Max Q
T+0:02:48: Stage 1 Separation
T+0:02:50: First Ignition of Second Stage
T+0:03:22: Fairing Jettison
T+0:08:16: SECO 1
T+1:08:51: Second Ignition of Second Stage
T+1:09:37: SECO 2
T+1:56:17: GPS 3 SV01 Separation
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