SpaceX launches Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida

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Update: Falcon 9 lifts off at 1:22 a.m. EDT Thursday! The rocket successfully launched from Cape Canaveral, landed on a drone in the Atlantic Ocean and delivered a commercial communications satellite into Earth orbit.

Follow live as SpaceX targets 1:22 a.m. EDT Thursday, November 3 for the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket and communications satellite from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

The mission of the French satellite operator Eutelsat, labeled Hotbird 13G, should take off from Cape Town’s launch complex 40 in 90% “go” conditions. The launch was originally scheduled for 11:26 p.m. Wednesday, but was pushed back to the end of the window to give teams more time to prepare the rocket.

After liftoff, Falcon 9 will target a drone ship landing in the Atlantic Ocean.

Follow live updates below (manual update required; for real-time updates with the ability to ask questions, follow this link):


1:22 a.m. EDT: Falcon 9 lift-off from Cape Canaveral with Eutelsat’s Hotbird 13G commercial satellite!

T-minus 10 minutes to throw

1:12 a.m. EDT: SpaceX continues the countdown to liftoff at 1:22 a.m. and all seems well with the countdown. This morning’s launch will include a northeast trajectory and a drone landing in the Atlantic Ocean, so there will be no local sonic booms.

Falcon 9 refueling underway

T-minus 35 minutes. SpaceX began fueling the 230-foot Falcon 9 rocket at Launch Complex 40 before liftoff at 1:22 a.m. EDT. Here’s what’s left in the count:

  • 00:35:00: start of loading of the 1st stage LOX (liquid oxygen)
  • 00:16:00: Start of 2nd stage LOX loading
  • 00:07:00: Falcon 9 begins pre-launch engine cooling
  • 00:01:00: Command the flight computer to begin final pre-launch checks
  • 00:01:00: start of propellant tank pressurization to flight pressure
  • 00:00:45: SpaceX launch director checks “go” for launch
  • 00:00:03: Engine controller commands start of engine ignition sequence
  • 00:00:00: Falcon 9 lift off

SpaceX is ready to start loading fuel

T-minus an hour to throw

12:22 a.m. EDT: Now T-minus an hour before liftoff, and SpaceX is expected to conduct a poll soon to determine whether or not teams will begin loading fuel into the Falcon 9 rocket at Launch Complex 40. That should begin in 25 minutes, assuming all is well with the rocket and everyone votes green.

SpaceX is still counting down

11:50 p.m. EDT: SpaceX is still on target for tonight’s 1:22 a.m. EDT launch of a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. The weather continues to be favourable. Refueling is scheduled to begin at 12:47 a.m. EDT, so stay tuned.

SpaceX delays Hotbird launch

10 p.m. EDT: SpaceX crews at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station are now targeting 1:22 a.m. EDT for that launch, nearly two hours late.

Contact Emre Kelly at [email protected] or 321-242-3715. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and instagram to @EmreKelly.

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