Update for 6:31pm ET: SpaceX has successfully launched two SES satellites into orbit 5:48 p.m. EST (2221 GMT) for the company’s O3b mPower network, which marks the 200th mission of a SpaceX booster and the eighth flight for this Falcon 9 rocket. Watch the introductory video and read our graduation story.
SpaceX will launch two satellites for telecom company SES on Friday (December 16), and you can watch the action live.
AND falcon 9 The rocket carrying SES’ O3b mPower 1 and 2 satellites is scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Friday during an 87-minute time window that opens at 4:21 p.m. EST (2121 GMT).
Related: 8 ways SpaceX changed space travel
If all goes according to plan, the Falcon 9 first stage will return to Earth just under nine minutes after liftoff for a soft landing on one of SpaceX’s robotic drone ships in the Atlantic.
According to a, it will be the eighth takeoff and landing for this particular booster SpaceX mission brief (opens in new tab). Four of its previous flights were missions to International Space Station for NASA – two manned and two unmanned.
The Falcon 9 upper stage will continue to launch the two satellites into orbit. The first is scheduled to be placed in medium Earth orbit (MEO) one hour and 53 minutes after launch, with the second following seven minutes later.
O3b mPower 1 and 2 are the first two satellites in a constellation of 11 spacecraft that SES intends to assemble in MEO. According to SES, which is headquartered in Luxembourg and France, the satellites will enable high-throughput, low-latency communications for customers around the world.
This mission is part of a busy itinerary for SpaceX. The company launched the private Japanese Hakuto R lunar lander on Sunday (December 11) and was scheduled to lift off the SWOT water monitoring satellite for NASA early Friday morning.
SpaceX also plans to launch another large batch of these Starlink Internet satellites from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, located adjacent to the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, on Saturday (December 17).
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 extraterrestrial life. Follow him on Twitter @michaelwall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or Facebook (opens in new tab).