SpaceX countdown to midnight launch from Florida – Spaceflight Now

Live coverage of the countdown and launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida with the Globalstar FM15 voice and data relay satellite. follow us on Twitter.

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SpaceX counts down to the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 12:27 a.m. EDT (0427 GMT) Sunday with the Globalstar FM15 satellite, a spare spacecraft for the commercial voice relay constellation and data from Globalstar.

The 229-foot-tall Falcon 9 rocket will head northeast from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral to place the 1,543-pound (700-kilogram) Globalstar satellite into low Earth orbit, according to warning notices of airspace published by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Falcon 9 mission will be longer than usual, with the rocket’s upper stage engine burning three times before deploying the Globalstar FM15 spacecraft about an hour and 53 minutes after liftoff.

The launch concludes a busy weekend for SpaceX, following back-to-back launches on Friday and Saturday from Kennedy Space Center in Florida and Vandenberg Space Force Base in California along with 53 other Starlink internet satellites and the SARah 1 radar reconnaissance satellite. German army.

Stationed inside a launch control center a few miles south of the pad, the SpaceX launch team will begin loading super-chilled and densified kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants into the vehicle. Falcon 9 at T-minus 35 minutes,

The pressurizing helium will also flow into the rocket in the last half hour of the countdown. During the last seven minutes before liftoff, Falcon 9’s Merlin main engines will be thermally conditioned for flight through a procedure known as “cooling down”. Falcon 9’s range guidance and safety systems will also be configured for a 00:27:36 launch.

After liftoff, the Falcon 9 rocket will direct its 1.7 million pounds of thrust – produced by nine Merlin engines – to head northeast over the Atlantic Ocean.

The rocket will exceed the speed of sound in about a minute, then shut down its nine main engines two and a half minutes after liftoff. The thruster will exit from Falcon 9’s upper stage, then fire pulses from cold gas control thrusters and extend titanium grid fins to help guide the vehicle through the atmosphere.

Two brake burns will slow the rocket to land on the “Just read the instructions” drone ship approximately 400 miles (650 kilometers) approximately 10 minutes after liftoff.

SpaceX patch for the Globalstar FM15 mission. Credit: SpaceX

The early Sunday flying booster stage – tail number B1061 – will head into space for the ninth time. It debuted with the launch of two NASA crew missions to the International Space Station in November 2020 and April 2021, then launched SiriusXM’s SXM 8 broadcasting satellite last June and a cargo mission from the space station last August.

Most recently, the booster phase launched NASA’s IXPE X-ray astronomy satellite in December, a Starlink mission in February, and SpaceX’s Transporter 4 and Transporter 5 small-satellite rideshare mission on April 1 and May 25. . The rocket will go on its next mission 25 days after Transporter 5 returns.

The first-stage landing on Friday’s mission will take place around the same time as the Falcon 9’s second-stage engine shuts down to complete its first orbital insertion. The upper stage will circle halfway around the world before reigniting for about four seconds at T+plus 64 minutes, then for about eight seconds at T+plus 107 minutes.

The Globalstar FM15 satellite, built more than a decade ago by Thales Alenia Space, is scheduled to deploy at T+plus 1 hour 53 minutes, or approximately 2:20 a.m. EDT (0620 GMT), assuming a launch at the time, according to SpaceX’s mission timeline.

In an unusual move for an established satellite operator, Globalstar did not release any details about the launch of its replacement satellite on Sunday. Globalstar released a statement in a quarterly financial report last month saying it plans to launch the rescue spacecraft in the “near future.” At the time, the company had not identified the launch vehicle for the replacement satellite.

Sunday’s launch will be the first for a Globalstar satellite since 2013, and adds capacity to the company’s commercial network providing voice and data connectivity for satellite phones, asset tracking and Internet of Things applications.

Globalstar operates a fleet of dozens of communications satellites in low Earth orbit. The company did not respond to multiple requests for details about the upcoming launch.

The company launched 60 first-generation satellites, built by Space Systems/Loral, on Delta 2 and Soyuz rockets from 1998 to 2007. Globalstar added 24 second-generation satellites, made by Thales Alenia Space, on four Soyuz rocket missions from 2010 to 2013. .

SpaceX did not mention any payloads that could be put into orbit with the Globalstar FM15 satellite during Sunday’s mission. The Globalstar satellite’s relatively light weight would typically leave enough propellant reserve on the Falcon 9’s thruster to return to landing, but Sunday’s mission will feature a landing on SpaceX’s offshore recovery platform.

ROCKET: Falcon 9 (B1061.9)

PAYLOAD: Globalstar FM15

LAUNCH SITE: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida

RELEASE DATE: June 19, 2022

LAUNCH TIME: 12:27:36 a.m. EDT (04:27:36 a.m. GMT)

WEATHER FORECAST: 70% chance of acceptable weather conditions; Low risk of high winds; Low risk of adverse conditions for booster recovery

BOOSTER RECOVERY: “Just Read the Instructions” drone ship east of Charleston, SC


TARGET ORBIT: Approximately 870 miles (1,400 kilometers)


  • T+00:00:00: Takeoff
  • T+00:01:12: Maximum air pressure (Max-Q)
  • T+00:02:31: First stage main engine shutdown (MECO)
  • T+00:02:35: Floor separation
  • T+00:02:43: Second stage engine ignition (SES 1)
  • T+00:02:54: Fairing jettison
  • T+00:08:10: First stage inlet combustion ignition (three engines)
  • T+00:08:36: First Stage Input Combustion Cutoff
  • T+00:09:36: First stage landing combustion ignition (one engine)
  • T+00:09:58: Second stage motor shutdown (SECO 1)
  • T+00:10:00: First stage landing
  • T+01:04:32: Second stage engine ignition (SES 2)
  • T+01:04:36: Second stage motor shutdown (SECO 2)
  • T+01:47:12: Second stage engine ignition (SES 3)
  • T+01:47:20: Second stage motor shutdown (SECO 3)
  • T+01:53:21: Separation Globalstar FM15


  • 160th launch of a Falcon 9 rocket since 2010
  • 168th launch of the Falcon rocket family since 2006
  • 9th launch of the Falcon 9 booster B1061
  • Launch of the 139th Falcon 9 from the Space Coast of Florida
  • 89th Falcon 9 launch from pad 40
  • 144th total launch from pad 40
  • 102nd flight of a repurposed Falcon 9 booster
  • 1st SpaceX launch for Globalstar
  • 82nd satellite built by Thales Alenia Space launched by SpaceX
  • 26th Falcon 9 launch of 2022
  • SpaceX’s 26th launch in 2022
  • 26th orbital launch attempt based at Cape Canaveral in 2022

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.

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