SpaceX will launch a commercial communications satellite and land a rocket at sea on Wednesday (June 29), and you can watch the action live.
A two-stage Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to launch the SES-22 satellite from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida Wednesday during a two-hour window that opens at 5:04 p.m. EDT (2104 GMT). You can watch it live here at Space.com, courtesy of SpaceX, or directly via the company (opens in new tab), beginning about 10 minutes before liftoff.
There will be a rocket landing to look for as well: If all goes according to plan, about 8.5 minutes after launch, the Falcon 9’s first stage will come back to Earth for a pinpoint touchdown on the SpaceX droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
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The Falcon 9’s upper stage, meanwhile, will carry SES-22 toward a geosynchronous transfer orbit, deploying the satellite there 33.5 minutes after liftoff.
SES-22 will be operated by the Luxembourg-based telecom company SES. The satellite “will deliver TV and radio to millions of American homes and provide other critical data transmission services,” SES representatives wrote in an emailed statement.
“SES-22 is expected to start operations by early August 2022,” they added.
SES-22’s launch will be the 27th of the year for SpaceX and the 161st flight of a Falcon 9 overall. It’s also the first of two planned liftoffs from American soil within about eight hours of each other. SES-22 will be followed by “Straight Up,” a seven-satellite mission that Virgin Orbit plans to launch from Mojave Air and Space Port in southeastern California.
“Straight Up” is scheduled to lift off during a window that opens at 1 a.m. EDT (0500 GMT) on Thursday (June 30). You can watch that mission — which will employ LauncherOne, a rocket that ignites at altitude after being dropped by a carrier plane — here at Space.com when the time comes as well.
Mike Wall is the author of “Out There (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab).