Liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft on its historic inaugural flight to the International Space Station. The uncrewed Demo-1 flight test is off to a spectacular start as the rocket quickly climbs up and away from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The nine Merlin engines on Falcon 9’s first stage will burn through a million pounds of propellant during the next three minutes.
About one minute after liftoff, the rocket will reach peak aerodynamic pressure, known as Max Q. Main engine cutoff (MECO) follows at two minutes, 35 seconds into the flight, then the first stage will separate from the second stage. The single Merlin vacuum engine on the second stage will ignite two minutes, 42 seconds after launch.
SpaceX will attempt to land the first stage on the company’s autonomous drone ship, “Of Course I Still Love You.”