Follow the key events of the Falcon 9 rocket’s ascent to orbit with three Earth observation satellites for Canada’s Radarsat Constellation Mission.
The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) rocket will lift off Wednesday at 7:17 a.m. PDT (10:17 a.m. EDT; 1417 GMT) from Space Launch Complex 4-East at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The Falcon 9’s first stage booster, which previously completed a launch and landing in March, will return for a propulsive touchdown at Vandenberg around eight minutes later.
Data source: SpaceX
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, California.
The Falcon 9 rocket reaches Max Q, the point of maximum aerodynamic pressure. The first stage’s nine Merlin 1D engines produce about 1.7 million pounds of thrust.
The Falcon 9’s nine Merlin 1D engines shut down.
T+0:02:17: Stage 1 Separation
The Falcon 9’s first stage separates from the second stage moments after MECO.
T+0:02:24: Stage 2 Ignition
The second stage Merlin 1D vacuum engine ignites for an approximately 6-minute burn to inject the Radarsat Constellation Mission satellites into a parking orbit.
T+0:02:48: Fairing Jettison