Rocket Lab and SpaceX Launch Missions Friday: Watch Them Live
Both Rocket Lab and SpaceX plan to launch missions on Friday (April 1), and you can watch the space double-header live.
A rocket lab The Electron vehicle is due to send two Earth observation satellites for US company BlackSky on Friday at 8:35 a.m. EDT (12:35 GMT) from Rocket Lab’s New Zealand site.
Nearly four hours later, at 12:24 p.m. EDT (4:24 p.m. GMT), a SpaceX The Falcon 9 rocket will lift off from the Cape Canaveral space station in Florida, carrying 40 satellites into orbit for a variety of customers, weather permitting. Forecasts currently predict only a 30% chance that the weather will be good enough to take off, SpaceX tweeted Thursday (March, 31st).
Falcon 9 first stage will return Earth shortly after takeoff and land on an autonomous droneship parked in the Atlantic Ocean, if all goes as planned.
Related: The evolution of SpaceX rockets in pictures
The Rocket Lab launch, dubbed “Without Mission a Beat,” will be Electron’s 25th launch overall. If all goes according to plan, this will bring the number of satellites put into orbit by the California-based Rocket Lab to 112. according to a corporate mission statement.
Rocket Lab has worked hard to make the two-stage Electron’s first stage reusable, bringing boosters for splashes and gentle ocean recoveries on several previous missions. However, there will be no such activities on “Without Mission a Beat.”
SpaceX already routinely reuses rockets, and its Friday mission, called Transporter 4, will continue that trend. The Falcon 9 first stage in flight on Friday already has six launches and landings under its belt, according to a SpaceX mission description.
Friday’s two launches are part of a very busy and exciting day for space fans. Friday also marks the start of the three-day “wetsuit rehearsal” for NASA. Artemis 1 mission, which will use a massive Space Launch System (SLS) rocket to send an uncrewed Orion capsule around the moon.
During the wet dress rehearsal, Artemis 1 team members will follow many of their pre-launch procedures, including refueling the SLS. If all goes well with the test, Artemis 1 could take off as soon as May or June.
Mike Wall is the author of “The low(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for extraterrestrial life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on twitter @Spacedotcom Or on Facebook.