Fueling of the SpaceX Falcon 9 first and second stages is underway. NASA and SpaceX mission and launch managers will begin the final poll for launch. Here are some countdown events.
L-44:00 NLM poll
L-38:00 Final propellant load poll
L-35:00 RP-1/LOX Load
L-10:00 Confirm spacecraft to internal power
L-7:00 Engine chill begins
L-6:00 Falcon 9 to internal power
L-5:00 RP-1 full
L-5:00 Spacecraft verified to internal power (NLM)
L-4:30 Strongback moved away from rocket
L-4:00 LD polls NLM for NASA go/no-go for launch (NLM)
L-3:00 Fueling (O2) complete (Stage 1 LOX close out)
L-3:00 Thrust vector control check
L-2:00 Range is GO
L-2:00 Stage 2 LOX close out
L-1:00 Falcon (vehicle) in start-up
L-1:00 Command flight computer final prelaunch checks
L-1:00 Propellant tanks pressurize for flight
L-0:45 GO for launch from LD
L-0:18 Sound suppression to flood pad
L-0:03 Engine controller commands engine ignition sequence to start
Fueling of the SpaceX rocket has begun. The SpaceX Falcon 9 is a partially reusable, two-stage rocket. It is powered by nine SpaceX Merlin engines. Its first stage uses rocket-grade kerosene and liquid oxygen, while the second stage uses liquid oxygen. The Falcon 9 can lift payloads of up to 50,300 pounds to low-Earth orbit, and 18,300 pounds to geostationary transfer orbit, or GTO. The first stage separates and re-enters Earth’s atmosphere, landing vertically.
Sentinel-6 will carry several instruments to support its science goals. A Radar Altimeter will bounce signals off the ocean surface. Sea surface height will be determined based on the time it takes each pulse to travel from the satellite to the ocean and back again.
An Advanced Microwave Radiometer will retrieve the amount of water vapor between the satellite and ocean, which affects the travel speed of radar pulses.
Radio Occultation Antennas will measure the delay of radio signals between Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich and global navigation satellites as they slice through different layers of the atmosphere.
Other onboard instruments will be used to precisely determine the satellite’s position, such as DORIS, Laser Retroreflector Array, downlink data from S-band and X-band antennas, and Solar Array supply power.
Good morning! And welcome to live blog coverage for the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich mission. The satellite will launch atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Launch time is targeted for 9:17 Pacific Standard Time, that’s 12:17 Eastern Standard Time.
The launch is managed by NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Our coverage on the blog originates from the NASA News Center at Kennedy Space Center. Stay tuned for more updates as we count down to launch for this exciting mission.
The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite was named in honor of Dr. Michael H. Freilich, who was instrumental in advancing ocean altimetry while leading NASA’s Earth Science Division. He was a tireless advocate for advancing satellite measurements of the ocean. Freilich passed away in August 2020.
The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite is a U.S.-European collaboration and one of two satellites that compose the Copernicus Sentinel-6/Jason-CS (Continuity of Service) mission. Once in orbit, each Sentinel-6 satellite will collect sea level measurements down to the centimeter for 90% of the world’s oceans. Agencies participating in this mission include the European Space Agency, the European Commission, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), NASA, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The launch is managed by NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
As a historic U.S.-European partnership, the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich spacecraft will begin a five-and-a-half-year prime mission to collect the most accurate data yet on global sea level and how our oceans are rising in response to climate change. The mission also will collect precise data of atmospheric temperature and humidity that will help improve weather forecasts and climate models.
The world’s latest Earth-observing satellite will launch from Space Launch Complex-4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Launch is scheduled for 9:17 a.m. PST (12:17 p.m. EST).
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite inside the payload fairing, is lifted to vertical at Space Launch Complex-4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Nov. 20, 2020.
Launch of the Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled for today, Nov. 21, at 9:17 a.m. PST (12:17 p.m. EST). Stay tuned for launch coverage of the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite today here on the NASA blog, on NASA TV, and the agency’s website. Live coverage begins at 8:45 a.m. PST (11:45 a.m. EST).
Tune in tomorrow, Nov. 21, for launch coverage of the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite here on the NASA blog, on NASA TV, and the agency’s website. Live coverage begins at 8:45 a.m. PST (11:45 a.m. EST). Rollout of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite was completed this afternoon.