SpaceX is schedule to bring the Jason-3 Satellite into orbit and then attempt to land the Falcon 9 rocket on a ship. Here is the mission schedule and how to watch the SpaceX adventure online.
SpaceX is scheduled to launch a Falcon 9 rocket with the Jason-3 satellite on board at 10:42:18am PST. The Falcon 9 rocket will launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in central California. As reported the SpaceX has brought the Falcon 9 rocket in upright position and the drone ship is on stand-by.
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There is only a 30 second launch window. We will know within seconds after 10:42:18am PST if the launch is happening. In case there is a delay, the backup launch window is on Monday Jan. 18 at 10:31:04 a.m. PST.
If all goes after the plan than two minutes (154s) after the Falcon 9 lift off, the main engine stops. After 3 seconds the first stage of the Falcon 9 separates. Another 8 seconds later the second-stage engine ignites.
The first stage of the Falcon 9 is returning to earth to land on the floating barge in the ocean. This is the most exciting part of today's mission and it happens just minutes after lift off.
It is planned that the SpaceX team will attempt to bring the stage 2 on course to the drone ship 4 minutes and 25 seconds after lift off.
Meanwhile 30 seconds into the second-stage burn the launch vehicle nose cone will be jettisoned.
The Jason-3 spacecraft and second stage of the Falcon 9 will then coast in an intermediate orbit for about another 46 minutes.
The crucial separation of the rocket and spacecraft will is planned to happen about 56 minutes after liftoff. Jason-3 will begin to deploy its twin solar arrays to prepare for operation 2 minutes after separation.
NASA will start to broadcast the Jan. 17 SpaceX mission at 8am PST on NASA TV. You can watch the the Jason-3 mission live below.
The NASA TV online broadcast channels are also available on this NASA site.
Jason-3 will add to a 23-year satellite record of global sea surface heights, a measurement with scientific, commercial and practical applications related to climate change, currents and weather.
Jason-3 data will be used for monitoring global sea level rise, researching human impacts on oceans, aiding prediction of hurricane intensity, and operational marine navigation. The mission is planned to last at least three years, with a goal of five years.
It is a four-agency international partnership of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA, the French Space Agency CNES (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales), and EUMETSAT (the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites).