SpaceX aims to complete a remarkable hat trick early Sunday (June 19), and you can watch the action live.
A two-stage Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to launch from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station Sunday at 12:27 a.m. EDT (0427 GMT), carrying a communications satellite for the Louisiana-based company Globalstar to orbit.
If all goes according to plan, about nine minutes after liftoff, the rocket’s first stage will come back to Earth for a vertical landing on the SpaceX droneship Just Read The Instructions, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast. You can watch it all live here at Space.com, courtesy of SpaceX, or directly via the company (opens in new tab). Coverage is expected to start about 10 minutes before liftoff.
Related: The 20 most memorable SpaceX missions
It will be the third mission for SpaceX in just over 36 hours. The company launched 53 of its Starlink internet satellites on Friday (June 17) from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and lofted a radar satellite for the German military from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on Saturday (June 18).
The Friday mission set a new rocket-reuse record for SpaceX; the Falcon 9 that flew it featured a first stage that already had 12 launches under its belt. (Sunday’s launch will be the ninth for this particular Falcon 9 first stage, according to EverydayAstronaut.com (opens in new tab).)
SpaceX has really ratcheted up its launch pace this year, even before the planned trifecta. Sunday morning’s liftoff will be the company’s 26th of 2022, and the year isn’t even half over yet.
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).