|After the rocket's nine Merlin 1D engines pass an automated health check, the Falcon 9 is released from Space Launch Complex 4-East at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
|The Falcon 9 rocket passes the speed of sound. The first stage's nine Merlin 1D engines produce 1.3 million pounds of thrust at sea level, ramping up to 1.5 million pounds of thrust in vacuum.
|The Falcon 9 rocket reaches Max Q, the point of maximum aerodynamic pressure.
|Moments after two of the Falcon 9's first stage engines shut down, the remaining seven Merlin 1D engines cut off at an altitude of about 90 kilometers, or 56 miles.
|Stage 1 Separation
|The Falcon 9's first stage separates from the second stage seven seconds after MECO.
|Stage 2 Ignition
|The second stage Merlin 1D vacuum engine ignites for an approximately 6-minute burn to inject the Cassiope satellite into orbit.
|The 5.2-meter (17.1-foot) diameter payload fairing jettisons once the Falcon 9 rocket ascends through the dense lower atmosphere. The 43-foot-tall fairing is made of two clamshell-like halves composed of carbon fiber with an aluminum honeycomb core.
|The second stage Merlin 1D vacuum engine shuts down after reaching orbit.
|The 1,100-pound Cassiope space weather research satellite is deployed from the Falcon 9 second stage in an orbit with a perigee of 186 miles, an apogee of 932 miles (300 km x 1,500 km) with an inclination of 80 degrees.
|Three small CubeSats deploy from a dispenser mounted on the Falcon 9 second stage. The Polar Orbiting Passive Atmospheric Calibration Spheres, or POPACS, will be used to measure changes in the density of the upper atmosphere in response to solar activity.
|The 51-pound CUSat spacecraft, built by students at Cornell University, will separate from a "lightband" adapter system on the Falcon 9 second stage. CUSat will demonstrate highly-accurate GPS navigation and plasma propulsion in orbit.
|The 110-pound Drag and Atmospheric Neutral Density Explorer, or DANDE, satellite from the University of Colorado at Boulder deploys from a "lightband" adapter system on the Falcon 9 second stage. DANDE will measure density, composition and winds in the upper atmosphere.