SpaceX will launch 88 satellites into a Sun-synchronous orbit around the Earth. This will be SpaceX’s second dedicated rideshare mission and host companies like Spaceflight Inc, ExoLaunch, and D-Orbit who will deploy the bulk of the payloads with their specialized deployment system. The Falcon 9 rocket will launch south, down the coast of Florida, and then the first stage will perform the first RTLS landing of 2021, back at LZ-1.

Date: Wednesday, June 30th

Rocket: SpaceX Falcon 9 (B1060-8)

Launch Pad: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida

Destination: Sun-synchronous Orbit

Landing Site: LZ-1, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida

The Rocket

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is the workhorse of commercial launches into Earth orbit. The partially reusable rocket is powered by 9 Merlin engines on the first stage and a single vacuum optimized Merlin on the second stage. The Falcon 9 has launched a total of 122 times with a 98% success rate, making it a highly trusted vehicle among the commercial, scientific, and defense sectors.

The Booster

Falcon 9 booster B1060 is a veteran launcher for the company, making its first launch in June of 2020 for the US Space Force’s GPS III constellation. The booster in total has launched 1 government mission (GPS III SV03), 1 commercial mission (TurkSat 5A), and 5 Starlink missions. This will be the first stage’s eighth mission and its first landing on a ground pad, rather than the more common droneship.

SpaceX Launch Weather (L-1 day)

The newest weather report from Space Launch Delta 45 shows similar concerns for today’s launch attempt. The changes to today’s report from yesterday is a slightly lower probability of good weather at the intended T-0 time, 70%. The concerns the 45th Weather Squadron is looking for at cumulus and anvil clouds from inland thunderstorms.

Tomorrow’s backup date follows a similar trend with the same concerns but this time with a 60% probability of good weather. For both days again, there are no additional risks with upper-level winds or booster recovery.

Updates

Tuesday, June 29th, 5:00 p.m. EDT: All payloads have been deployed. 100% mission success.

Tuesday, June 29th, 4:30 p.m. EDT: Payloads have begun deploying out, a total of 88 satellites, including 3 Starlinks, will be deployed.

Tuesday, June 29th, 2:59 p.m. EDT: The launch is scrubbed for today’s attempt. The livestream commentator mentioned a possible range violation. Tomorrow afternoon is the next launch attempt.

Tuesday, June 29th, 2:55 p.m. EDT: The countdown is in a hold. The range is no-go on the launch. We still have about an hour left in today’s window.

Tuesday, June 29th, 2:55 p.m. EDT: Falcon 9 is in start up but the range is not green.

Tuesday, June 29th, 2:54 p.m. EDT: The Falcon 9 is now fully fueled with RP-1 and liquid oxygen.

Tuesday, June 29th, 2:54 p.m. EDT: Weather is still green for today’s launch. The earlier showers don’t seem to have affected today’s launch.

Tuesday, June 29th, 2:52 p.m. EDT: The Strongback, the structure that supports the rocket before launch, has begun retracting.

Tuesday, June 29th, 2:50 p.m. EDT: The loading of RP-1, rocket grade kerosene, has finished on the first stage.

Tuesday, June 29th, 2:49 p.m. EDT: SpaceX has begun chilling the first stage’s 9 Merlin engines. We are currently 7 minutes away from launch.

Tuesday, June 29th, 2:44 p.m. EDT: SpaceX’s livestream has begun, still on track for a 2:56 p.m. launch.

Tuesday, June 29th, 2:36 p.m. EDT: The famous T-20 minute vent has started letting us know that we are still on time for our current T-0 time.

Tuesday, June 29th, 2:20 p.m. EDT: Weather at the pad is beginning to clear. SpaceX’s launch director has given the go to begin fueling the Falcon 9 rocket.

Tuesday, June 29th, 1:56 p.m. EDT: We are currently 1 hour away from the launch of SpaceX’s Transporter 2 mission. Currently a storm front is moving over the spaceport bringing some rain.

Tuesday, June 29th, 8:05 a.m. EDT: SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket has been raised vertically in preparation for today’s launch.

Friday, June 25th, 10:55 a.m. EDT: SpaceX has confirmed that it will launch 88 payloads next Tuesday. No launch time has been announced.

Friday, June 25th, 8:39 a.m. EDT: HOS Briarwood, the temporary fairing recovery ship, has returned to Port Canaveral after the delay was announced. It takes the ship 2 days to reach the landing zone, this will be the ship to watch to see when Transporter-2 is back on.

Thursday, June 24th, 9:38 a.m. EDT: SpaceX announced on Thursday that they are delaying the launch for additional time for pre-launch check-outs. TUBspace, a payload on the mission, shared on social media that the launch will be delayed until as early as Monday, June 28th, the post was deleted soon after being published.

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