Fresh off their second crewed launch for NASA, SpaceX has temporarily shifted focus on launches to the U.S. West Coast, where a Falcon 9 rocket is waiting to launch the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich oceanography satellite in cooperation with NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the European Space Agency, and various other partners.
Launch is scheduled from Space Launch Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, at 09:17 Pacific Standard Time — or 17:17 UTC — on Saturday, 21 November.
This mission will be the 100th for SpaceX’s workhorse Falcon 9 launch vehicle (but only its 99th launch), and the 108th mission in general for the company since its creation in May 2002. This will also be the 95th orbital launch attempt made by any launch provider so far in 2020.
The first stage of the Falcon 9 that will launch Saturday’s mission is core B1063.1. This designation originates from SpaceX’s internal booster naming/numbering scheme, with B1063 being the 63rd Falcon booster core built by the company at their headquarters/production facility in Hawthorne, California, and the “.1” signifying the booster’s first flight.
The Falcon 9 will launch the Sentinel-6A Earth observation mission, which has been named for ...