Follow the key events of the Falcon 9 rocket’s ascent to orbit with the another set of 10 next-generation satellites for Iridium’s voice and data relay fleet.
The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) rocket will lift off Friday at 7:31 a.m. PST (10:31 a.m. EST; 1531 GMT) from Space Launch Complex 4-East at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
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+0:02:30: Stage 1 Separation
The Falcon 9’s first stage separates from the second stage moments after MECO.
T+0:02:38: Stage 2 Ignition
The second stage Merlin 1D vacuum engine ignites for an approximately 6-minute burn to inject the Iridium Next satellites into a parking orbit.
T+0:03:13: Fairing Jettison
The 5.2-meter (17.1-foot) diameter payload fairing jettisons once the Falcon 9 rocket ascends through the dense lower atmosphere. The 43-foot-tall fairing is made of ...