• Timeline for SpaceXs next station cargo launch

    From Spaceflight Now@21:1/5 to All on Thu Dec 14 20:50:25 2017
    SpaceX';s Falcon 9 rocket will go from Cape Canaveral to low Earth orbit in 10 minutes Friday with a Dragon capsule heading for the International Space Station carrying more than 4,800 pounds of supplies and experiments.

    Liftoff is set for 1536 GMT (10:36 a.m. EST) Friday from Cape Canaveral';s Complex 40 launch pad.

    It will be the 45th flight of a Falcon 9 rocket, and SpaceX';s 17th launch of the year. Working under contract to NASA, Friday';s launch will be the 13th of least 26 SpaceX resupply missions to depart for the space station.

    The illustrated timeline below outlines the launch sequence for the Falcon 9 flight with the Dragon spacecraft. It does not include times for the experimental descent and landing attempt of the first stage booster at Landing Zone 1, a former Atlas
    missile launch facility about 6 miles (9 kilometers) south of pad 40.

    Three ignitions of the first stage engines after separation will steer the booster back toward Florida';s Space Coast from the northeast. Here are key times for the landing maneuvers:

    T+plus 2 minutes, 38 seconds: First stage boost-back burn begins
    T+plus 6 minutes, 7 seconds: First stage entry burn begins
    T+plus 7 minutes, 46 seconds: First stage landing

    Touchdown at Landing Zone 1 should occur during a landing burn with only the first stage';s center Merlin 1D engine firing.

    T-0:00:00: Liftoff
    After the rocket's nine Merlin engines pass an automated health check, hold-down clamps will release the Falcon 9 booster for liftoff from pad 40.

    T+0:01:10: Mach 1
    The Falcon 9 rocket reaches Mach 1, the speed of sound.

    T+0:01:18: Max Q
    The Falcon 9 rocket reaches Max Q, the point of maximum aerodynamic pressure.

    T+0:02:21: MECO
    The Falcon 9's nine Merlin 1D engines shut down.

    T+0:02:25: Stage 1 Separation
    The Falcon 9's first stage separates from the second stage moments after MECO.

    T+0:02:33: Second Stage Ignition
    The second stage Merlin 1D vacuum engine ignites for an approximately 7-minute burn to put the Dragon spacecraft into orbit.

    T+0:09:00: SECO
    The second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket shuts down after reaching a target orbit with a low point of approximately 124 miles (200 kilometers), a high point of approximately 223 miles (360 kilometers) and an inclination of 51.6 degrees. The second stage
    will reignite for a de-orbit burn soon after deploying the Dragon spacecraft, aiming for a destructive re-entry over the Southern Ocean south of Australia.

    T+0:10:00: Dragon Separation
    The Dragon spacecraft separates from the Falcon 9 rocket';s second stage.

    T+0:11:00: Solar Arrays Deployed
    The Dragon spacecraft';s two solar array wings extend one-at-a-time to a span of 54 feet (16.5 meters).

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    Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.


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