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SpaceX counts down to a midnight launch from Florida – Spaceflight Now

Live show for the countdown and launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral space station in Florida with the Globalstar FM15 voice and data satellite. Follow us in Twitter.

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SpaceX counts down to the launch of the Falcon 9 rocket from the Cape Canaveral space station at 12:27 PM EDT (04:27 GMT) on Sunday with Globalstar FM15, a backup spacecraft for the commercial constellation for voice and data Globalstar.

The 229-foot-tall Falcon 9 rocket will head northeast of Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral to place the 1543-pound (700-kilogram) Globalstar satellite into low Earth orbit, according to airspace warnings issued by the Federal Aviation Administration. .

The mission of the Falcon 9 will be longer than usual, with three burns from the rocket’s upper engine before the deployment of the Globalstar FM15 spacecraft about an hour and 53 minutes after takeoff.

The launch concludes a busy weekend for SpaceX, following consecutive launches on Friday and Saturday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the Vandenberg Space Force base in California with 53 other Starlink Internet satellites and the German Army’s SARah 1 radar reconnaissance satellite.

Located in a launch control center a few miles south of the site, the SpaceX launch team will begin loading super-chilled, compacted kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants into the Falcon 9 at a T-minus 35 minutes.

Helium pressure will also flow into the rocket in the last half hour of the countdown. In the last seven minutes before take-off, the main engines of the Falcon 9 Merlin will be thermally conditioned for flight by a procedure known as “cooling”. Falcon 9’s guidance and safety systems will also be configured to launch at 00:27:36.

After take-off, the Falcon 9 rocket will direct its 1.7 million-pound thrust, produced by nine Merlin engines, to head northeast over the Atlantic.

The rocket will exceed the speed of sound for about a minute, then turn off its nine main engines two and a half minutes after takeoff. The amplifier will release the upper stage of the Falcon 9, then fire pulses from the cold gas control pushers and extend the titanium grilles to help the vehicle return to the atmosphere.

Two brake burns will slow down the drone’s “Just Read the Instructions” drone about 400 miles (650 km) down about 10 minutes after takeoff.

SpaceX patch for the Globalstar FM15 mission. Credit: SpaceX

The acceleration phase, which flies early Sunday – tail number B1061 – will go 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 broadcast satellite last June and space station cargo missions last August.

Most recently, the acceleration phase launched NASA’s X-ray astronomical satellite IXPE in December, the Starlink mission in February, and SpaceX’s Transporter 4 and Transporter 5 small satellite sharing mission on April 1 and May 25. The rocket will leave for its next mission 25 days after returning from Transporter 5.

The landing of the first stage of the mission on Friday will take place at about the same time as the second stage engine of the Falcon 9 stops to complete its first orbital insertion. The upper stage will travel halfway around the world before re-igniting for about four seconds T + plus 64 minutes, then for about eight seconds at T + plus 107 minutes.

Deployment of the Globalstar FM15 satellite, built more than a decade ago by Thales Alenia Space, is expected at T + plus 1 hour, 53 minutes or around 2:20 am EDT (06:20 GMT), with a supposed launch on time, according to to the SpaceX mission schedule.

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

Launch on Sunday will be Globalstar’s first companion since 2013 and adds capacity to the company’s retail network, which provides voice and data connectivity for satellite phones, asset tracking and the Internet of Things.

Globalstar operates a fleet of dozens of low-Earth orbit communications satellites. The company did not respond to numerous 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 to four Union rocket missions from 2010 to 2013. г.

SpaceX did not mention any payloads that could go into orbit with the Globalstar FM15 satellite on Sunday’s mission. The relatively light weight of the Globalstar satellite usually leaves enough fuel reserve on the Falcon 9’s accelerator to return to landing, but Sunday’s mission will include landing on the offshore recovery platform SpaceX.

ROCKET: Falcon 9 (B1061.9)

PAYLOAD: Globalstar FM15

STARTING SITE: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Space Station, Florida

STARTING DATE: June 19, 2022

NOON: 12:27:36 PM EDT (0427: 36 GMT)

WEATHER FORECAST: 70% chance of acceptable time; Low risk of upper level winds; Low risk of adverse booster recovery conditions

BUSTER RECOVERY: Drone-ship “Just read the instructions” east of Charleston, South Carolina


TARGET ORBIT: Approximately 870 miles (1400 kilometers)


  • T + 00: 00: 00: Takeoff
  • T + 00: 01: 12: Maximum aerodynamic pressure (Max-Q)
  • T + 00: 02: 31: First stage of main engine shutdown (MECO)
  • T + 00: 02: 35: Separation of stages
  • T + 00: 02: 43: Second stage of ignition (SES 1)
  • T + 00: 02: 54: Ejection of the fairing
  • T + 00: 08: 10: Initial ignition (three engines)
  • T + 00: 08: 36: Exclude combustion when entering the first stage
  • T + 00: 09: 36: First stage of landing ignition (single engine)
  • T + 00: 09: 58: Second stage of engine shutdown (SECO 1)
  • T + 00: 10: 00: First landing stage
  • T + 01: 04: 32: Second engine ignition (SES 2)
  • T + 01: 04: 36: Second stage of engine shutdown (SECO 2)
  • T + 01: 47: 12: Second ignition (SES 3)
  • T + 01: 47: 20: Second stage of engine shutdown (SECO 3)
  • T + 01: 53: 21: Division of Globalstar FM15


  • The 160th launch of the 2010 Falcon 9 rocket
  • The 168th launch of the Falcon family of missiles in 2006
  • 9th start of Falcon 9 booster B1061
  • The 139th launch of the Falcon 9 from the Florida Space Coast
  • The 89th Falcon 9 starts at 40
  • The 144th launch in total from site 40
  • 102nd flight of a reusable Falcon 9 booster
  • The first launch of SpaceX for Globalstar
  • The 82nd space satellite Thales Alenia, launched by SpaceX
  • The 26th launch of the Falcon 9 in 2022
  • The 26th launch of SpaceX in 2022
  • 26th orbit launch attempt based at Cape Canaveral in 2022

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