SpaceX will launch and land a rocket on Saturday. Here’s how to watch
SpaceX plans to launch a German military satellite and land the return rocket on Saturday morning (June 18), and you can watch the action live.
A SpaceX in two stages Falcon 9 The rocket is scheduled to lift off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on Saturday at 10:19 a.m. EDT (2:19 p.m. GMT; 7:19 a.m. local California time). You can watch the action here on Space.com, courtesy of SpaceXWhere directly through the company (opens in a new tab). Coverage should begin approximately 10 minutes before launch.
The Falcon 9 first stage will descend to Earth for a vertical landing at Vandenberg approximately nine minutes after liftoff, if all goes according to plan. The upper stage, meanwhile, will carry SARah-1, a radar satellite to orbit that will be operated by the German military, along with a handful of “carpool” spacecraft. according to EverydayAstronaut.com (opens in a new tab).
Related: The 20 most memorable SpaceX missions
Saturday’s launch is the central mission of a trifecta that SpaceX plans to achieve over a 36-hour period. The company launched 53 of its Starlink internet satellites into orbit yesterday (June 17) from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, a mission that will set a new rocket reuse record; it was the 13th liftoff of this particular Falcon 9 first stage. (The Falcon 9 flying Saturday sports a first stage with two launches under its belt, both for the US National Reconnaissance Office, according to a SpaceX mission description (opens in a new tab).)
The third launch of the rapid-fire trio is scheduled for early Sunday (June 19), when a Falcon 9 will launch a communications satellite for Louisiana-based company GlobalStar. This mission will lift off from the Cape Canaveral space station in Florida, which sits next to KSC.
Back-to-back launches continue a very busy year for SpaceX. Elon MuskThe company has already carried out 24 missions in 2022, or about one per week.
As all of those operational rockets lift off, SpaceX continues to work on its potentially transformative next-generation transportation system, a massive rocket-spacecraft combo called Spatialship. The company is preparing for Starship’s first orbital flight test, which could arrive in the next few months now that a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration environmental review is on the books.
Mike Wall is the author of “The low (opens in a new tab)(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for extraterrestrial life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in a new tab). Follow us on twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in a new tab) Or on Facebook (opens in a new tab).