Update 12:05 p.m. EDT Saturday: The Space Development Agency has confirmed a success for this second Tranche 0 mission.
Update 10:45 a.m. EDT Saturday: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off with 13 demonstration satellites for the US military’s Space Development Agency (SDA) on time at 7:25 a.m. PDT (10:25 a.m. EDT / 1425 UTC)7:25 a.m. PDT (10:25 a.m. EDT / 1425 UTC). The Falcon 9 first-stage returned to make a landing at Vandenberg. SpaceX is not providing coverage of the second-stage portion of the flight at the request of the Space Development agency. This is standard procedure for many national security missions.
Update 9:20 a.m. EDT Saturday: Liftoff from a foggy Vandenberg Space Force Base in California remains scheduled for 7:25 a.m. PDT (10:25 a.m. EDT / 1425 UTC).
Update 10:20 a.m. EDT Friday: SpaceX has aborted the launch of the Falcon 9 with less than 20 minutes left to go in the countdown. It’s the second day running the launch has been scrubbed.
Update 9:30 a.m. EDT Friday: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will make another attempt to launch 13 Tranche 0 demonstration satellites for the U.S. military’s Space Development Agency (SDA). Liftoff from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California is scheduled for .
Update 10:35 a.m. EDT: SpaceX is standing down from the Aug. 31 launch attempt of the Tranche 0B mission due to an engine issue. Teams are troubleshooting and and the launch is now targeted for no earlier than 7:26 a.m. PDT (10:26 a.m. EDT / 1426 UTC) Friday.. This booster, B1063, has flown 12 previous missions, starting with the Sentinel-6 launch on Nov. 21, 2020. It most recently launched a batch of 48 Starlink satellites on the Starlink Group 5-13 mission on July 7, 2023.
Update: SpaceX adjusted the launch time for this mission. The new T-0 liftoff is now targeting 8:25 a.m. PDT (11:25 EDT, 1525 UTC). This is the end of the launch window for Thursday, Aug. 31. If needed, there is a backup opportunity at 7:26 a.m. PDT (10:26 a.m. EDT / 1426 UTC) on Sept. 1.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch 13 Tranche 0 demonstration satellites for the U.S. military’s Space Development Agency (SDA). Liftoff from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California is scheduled for 7:26 a.m. PDT (10:26 a.m. EDT / 1426 UTC).
The launch is the second Falcon 9 missions to carry SDA demonstration spacecraft for a future constellation of military missile tracking and data relay satellites. Ten satellites for the constellation were launched Apr. 2 on a Falcon 9. A further four satellites are scheduled for launch on a later mission hosted by the Missile Defence Agency, according to an SDA fact sheet.
Aboard the Falcon 9 are 11 communications satellites, part of what SDA calls the ‘Transport Layer’ and two satellites for the so-called ‘Tracking Layer’.
The Falcon 9’s first stage booster, which is making its 13th flight will return to Landing Zone 4 at Vandenberg about seven and a half minutes after launch.