CAP CANAVERAL, Fla .– SpaceX will launch its second rocket in less than 24 hours on Saturday (December 18) and you can watch the action live online.
The private spaceflight company will launch the Turksat 5B communications satellite for Turkey on one of its previously flown Falcon 9 rockets. The mission is scheduled to take off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Space Force Base at Cape Canaveral here in Florida during a 90-minute window that opens at 10:58 p.m. EST (0358 GMT Sunday).
You will be able to watch the launch live in a window at the top of this page and on the Space.com home page, at launch time courtesy of SpaceX. Live coverage will begin approximately 15 minutes before takeoff. You can also watch the launch directly through SpaceX and on YouTube.
Video: SpaceX launches Falcon 9 rocket for record 11th flight
Saturday’s flight is the second of a double launch by SpaceX, as the private spaceflight company launches two different Falcon 9 rockets from two different coasts.
At 7:41 a.m. EST (12:41 GMT), SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket on its new record 11th flight as part of a mission to send 52 of its own Starlink internet satellites into space. . A little over 15 hours later, the company is preparing to launch another Falcon 9 rocket, this time taking a communications satellite into space for Turkey.
The Turksat 5B mission is the second of two satellites SpaceX has been commissioned to launch on behalf of Turkey; its counterpart Turksat 5A, launched in January. The country aims to increase its presence in space and, as such, the satellite will help provide communication capabilities to customers across Turkey, the Middle East, Europe and parts of Africa. .
However, Turkey’s space ambitions are not without controversy, as activists got upset last October about Turkey’s role in a conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. protested against the launch of SpaceX’s Turksat 5A at the company’s headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif., in an unsuccessful attempt to stop the launch.
Related: See the evolution of SpaceX rockets in pictures
Today, the Turksat 5B satellite, a communications satellite, is in orbit atop Falcon 9 built by Airbus for Turksat, the only satellite operator in Turkey. The 9,900 pounds. The satellite (4,490 kg) is expected to operate for 15 years, with radiant coverage below. Forecasters from 45 Weather Squadron predict a 80% chance of being favorable start the weather conditions Thursday evening. The main concerns are the formation of cumulus clouds.
After a successful takeoff, the first stage of the rocket will return to Earth, landing on a floating platform at sea. To date, SpaceX has successfully retrieved the first stage boosters 98 times, with the first stage scheduled to land on the bridge. of SpaceX’s newest drone, “A Shortfall of Gravitas”.
For the first time, the company’s entire drone fleet has been deployed to various parking lots across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, as SpaceX plans to launch and land three different rockets within 72 hours. The first of them successfully landed on the company’s West Coast drone ship, “Of course, I still love you” just before 8 am EST (1100 GMT) this morning with the launch of Starlink. The third will be a NASA cargo delivery mission on an unmanned Dragon freighter, which will launch on Tuesday, December 21.
The mission will launch atop one of SpaceX’s veteran rockets, marking the 30th flight of 2021 for the California aerospace company. It will also mark the 99th landing overall for SpaceX.
After a successful landing on the drone, SpaceX will also retrieve the mission’s fairing halves from the ocean using one of its newest salvage ships: “Bob” or “Doug”. The ships, which replaced the old GO Ms. Tree and GO Ms. Chief salvage ships, are named after the first two astronauts SpaceX sent into space, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley.
The duo flew on SpaceX’s Demo-2 mission, which launched in May 2020.