SpaceX will shortly be launching another mission this morning, Saturday, December 19. The NROL-108 Mission was set to launch earlier this week but had to be pushed back to allow time for more checks. Now, with the weather good and systems ready, the launch looks set to go ahead.
The launch will be livestreamed by SpaceX and we’ve got all the details on how you can watch it live.
How to watch the launch
SpaceX will stream the preparations for the launch, the liftoff, and the separation and landing of the first stage of the rocket. The stream can be viewed at SpaceX’s website or YouTube page, or by using the video embedded above.
The launch window begins at 6:00 a.m. PT and runs until 9:00 p.m. PT, with the launch livestreamed as it happens. After liftoff, the livestream will show the separation of the first stage and then the landing of the first stage at Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
What to expect from the launch
The NROL-108 Mission will launch using a Falcon 9 rocket, the company’s signature reusable rocket, from the Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) in Florida.
SpaceX is known for its ability to reuse the first stage of its rockets, and the particular rocket has been on several missions before. “Falcon 9’s first stage booster previously supported launch of SpaceX’s 19th and 20th cargo resupply missions to the International Space Station, a Starlink mission, and the SAOCOM 1B mission,” the company said in a statement.
More about the mission
The NROL-108 Mission is one of the SpaceX missions to launch satellites for the United States National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). Little information is made public about these satellites, with arbitrary numbers given as designations. It is not known if today’s mission is to launch one satellite or multiple satellites, but it is known that the rocket will fly north-east from Florida over the Atlantic Ocean.
According to NASASpaceFlight, this indicates that the satellite or satellites are not heading for geosynchronous orbit, but rather will head for an orbit inclined at around 50 degrees.
SpaceX has previously launched another mission for NRO, following NROL-76 launched in May 2017.
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