SpaceX Falcon 9, Crew Dragon and Falcon Heavy sequence of events (latest first)
Launch Falcon 9 with EUCLID space telescope (01-07-2023)
- SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and ESA Euclid satellite from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC).
- ESA Euclid space telescope (dark matter and dark energy).
- Launch: 01-07-2023.
- From: KSC SLC-40.
- Telemetry and telecom: ESA DS1, DS2 and DS3.
- Destination: L2.
Sequence of events
|Falcon 9 Launch||T+0 (01-07-2023)||0 km/h||0 km||KSC SCS-40|
|SECO-1||26.979 km/h||162 km|
|Drift phase||Stable drift from KSC to equator|
|SES-2||T+17:22||Second burn, 90 seconds duration|
|SECO-2||T+18:40||38.177 km/h||200 km|
|Deploy||T+41:03||27.356 km/h||5.675 km||Payload deploy, 20 minutes after SECO-2|
|Acquisition of signal by ESA||T+45:10||ESA DSA1 = New Norcia, Australia|
|Telemetry||ESA DSA2 = Cebreros, Spain, DS3 = Malargue, Argentina|
Launch Falcon 9 and Crew 6 (01-03-2023)
- SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket (9 engines) and Crew Dragon spacecraft from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC).
- Crew 6 to ISS.
- First launch attempt: 27-02-2023.
- Launch: 01-03-2023 (second attempt).
- Day 2: 02-03-2023.
- Day 3: 03-03-2023.
Flight phases (Liftoff to Pressurization)
Falcon 9’s first stage lofts Dragon to orbit. Falcon 9’s first and second stage separate. Second stage accelerates Dragon to orbital velocity.
- Orbit activation
Dragon separates from Falcon 9’s second stage and performs initial orbit activation and checkouts of propulsion, life support and thermal control systems.
- Phasing burns
Dragon performs delta-velocity orbit raising maneuvers to catch up with the International Space Station (ISS). Thruster burns.
- Approaching initiation
Dragon establishes a communication link with the ISS and performs its final orbit raising delta-velocity burn.
- Proximity operation
Dragon establishes relative navigation to the ISS and arrives along the docking axis, initiating an autonomous operation. Final coeliptic.
- Docking and pressurization
Dragon performs final approach abd docks with the ISS, followed by pressurization, hatch open and crew ingress.
Day 1 (first attempt)
SpaceX scrubbed the first launch attempt Feb. 27 a little more than two minutes before the scheduled 1:45 a.m. Eastern liftoff after reporting an issue with the flow of triethylaluminum triethylborane (TEA-TEB), a chemical combination used to ignite the rocket’s engines.
“At the end of the day, we couldn’t be absolutely sure that we had enough TEA-TEB, enough of this ignition fluid, bled up to the interface of the rocket to make sure that we would get that consistent, exactly timed ignition that we need across all nine engines, so we scrubbed the launch,” said Benji Reed, senior director of human spaceflight programs at SpaceX, at a post-launch briefing.
Day 1 (second attempt)
The launch took place on the second attempt:
- 07:04:57 p.m. EST: Chief engineer launch readiness briefing
- 07:34:57 p.m. EST: Launch shift arrives in Firing Room 4
- 07:34:57 p.m. EST: Dragon IMU align/configure for launch
- 08:04:57 p.m. EST: Dragon prop pressurization
- 08:09:57 p.m. EST: Dragon launch escape system health checks
- 08:16:57 p.m. EST: Crew weather brief
- 08:26:57 p.m. EST: Crew handoff to SpaceX
- 08:34:57 p.m. EST: Suit donning and checkouts
- 08:34:57 p.m. EST: Readiness poll for advance team to enter Blast Danger Area
- 08:39:57 p.m. EST: Advance team travels to pad 39A
- 08:44:57 p.m. EST: ISS state vector uploaded to Dragon
- 08:45:00 p.m. EST: NASA TV coverage begins
- 09:14:14 p.m. EST: Crew walkout from Neil Armstrong O&C Building
- 09:19:14 p.m. EST: Crew departs for pad 39A in Tesla Model Xs
- 09:39:14 p.m. EST: Crew arrives at pad 39A
- 09:59:14 p.m. EST: Astronauts ingress into Crew Dragon
- 10:14:14 p.m. EST: Crew communications checks
- 10:17:14 p.m. EST: Verify ready for seat rotation
- 10:18:14 p.m. EST: Suit leak checks
- 10:39:14 p.m. EST: Hatch closed for flight
- 10:44:14 p.m. EST: Dragon leak checks
- 11:49:14 p.m. EST: SpaceX launch director verifies go for propellant load
- 11:52:14 p.m. EST: Crew access arm retracts
- 11:56:14 p.m. EST: Launch escape system armed
- 11:59:14 p.m. EST: 1st and 2nd stage RP-1 fuel load begins; 1st stage LOX load begins
- 12:14:44 a.m. EST: 2nd stage RP-1 tank full
- 12:17:44 a.m. EST: 2nd stage LOX load begins
- 12:24:14 a.m. EST: Final pre-launch communications check
- 12:27:14 a.m. EST: 1st stage engine chill begins
- 12:28:14 a.m. EST: 1st stage RP-1 tank full
- 12:29:14 a.m. EST: Dragon transitions to internal power
- 12:29:44 a.m. EST: Strongback retraction begins
- 12:30:34 a.m. EST: Autonomous Flight Termination System final setup
- 12:31:09 a.m. EST: M-Vac engine igniter purge
- 12:31:14 a.m. EST: 1st stage LOX tank full; Strongback at ~1.7 degrees
- 12:32:14 a.m. EST: 2nd stage LOX tank full
- 12:33:14 a.m. EST: Flight computer starts final pre-flight checks; F9 prop tanks pressurize
- 12:33:29 a.m. EST: SpaceX launch director verifies go for launch
- 12:34:11 a.m. EST: Engine controller commands engine ignition sequence
- 12:34:14 a.m. EST: Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon launch (T+0)
- 12:34:14 a.m. EST: Stage 1a abort mode
- 12:34:24 a.m. EST: Pitch kick
- 12:35:07 a.m. EST: Stage 1 throttle bucket
- 12:35:16 a.m. EST: Max-Q
- 12:35:23 a.m. EST: Mach 1
- 12:35:29 a.m. EST: Stage 1b abort mode
- 12:36:48 a.m. EST: Stage 2a abort mode
- 12:36:48 a.m. EST: MECO; 1st stage engines cut off
- 12:36:52 a.m. EST: Stage separation
- 12:36:59 a.m. EST: 2nd stage’s M-Vac engine ignites
- 12:38:34 a.m. EST: Bermuda ground station acquires F9 and Dragon signals
- 12:41:36 a.m. EST: 1st stage entry burn
- 12:43:01 a.m. EST: SECO-1; 2nd stage M-Vac engine shuts down; Orbit insertion
- 12:43:13 a.m. EST: 1st stage landing burn
- 12:43:40 a.m. EST: 1st stage landing on droneship
- 12:46:11 a.m. EST: Dragon separates from 2nd stage; Begin Draco thruster checkouts
- 12:46:59 a.m. EST: Dragon nosecone open sequence begins
- 01:20:11 a.m. EST: Phase burn using Draco thrusters
- 02:30:00 a.m. EST: Post-launch news conference on NASA TV
- 10:24:13 a.m. EST: Boost burn using Draco thrusters
- 11:06:25 a.m. EST: Close burn using Draco thrusters
- 07:04:31 p.m. EST: Transfer burn using Draco thrusters
- 07:51:02 p.m. EST: Coelliptic burn using Draco thrusters
- 10:11:00 p.m. EST: Crew Dragon range 30 kilometers from ISS
- 11:02:00 p.m. EST: Crew Dragon range 15 kilometers from ISS
- 11:16:00 p.m. EST: Go/no go decision for approach initiation burn
- 11:19:00 p.m. EST: Crew Dragon range 10 kilometers from ISS
- 11:41:00 p.m. EST: Approach initiation burn; Crew Dragon range 7.5 kilometers from ISS
- 11:47:00 p.m. EST: Crew Dragon range 6 kilometers from ISS
- 12:06:00 a.m. EST: Approach initiation midcourse burn
- 12:13:00 a.m. EST: Crew Dragon range 1 kilometer from ISS
- 12:22:00 a.m. EST: Go/no go decision to enter ISS keep out sphere (a 200-m zone around ISS)
- 12:26:00 a.m. EST: Waypoint Zero arrival (400 meters below ISS)
- 12:40:00 a.m. EST: Go/no go decision to approach Waypoint 2
- 01:00:00 a.m. EST: Docking axis/Waypoint 1 arrival (220 meters above ISS)
- 01:10:00 a.m. EST: Go/no go decision for docking
- 01:11:00 a.m. EST: Waypoint 2 arrival and hold (20 meters from ISS)
- 01:12:00 a.m. EST: Resume approach from Waypoint 2 (20 meters from ISS)
- 01:17:00 a.m. EST: Contact and capture at IDA-3 on zenith port of the Harmony module
- 01:30:00 a.m. EST: Docking sequence complete; All hooks closed; Power umbilicals mated
- 01:52:00 a.m. EST: Leak checks begin between Crew Dragon and ISS
- 02:17:00 a.m. EST: Leak checks complete; Vestibule pressurization
- 03:02:00 a.m. EST: Hatch opening; Crew-6 astronauts enter ISS (26,5 hours after launch)
- 02-03-2023 When crew 6 docked at the ISS, there were problems with one of the twelve hooks.
Crew Dragon returning from ISS (Departure to Splashdown, 2023)
- Crew Dragon returning from ISS to Earth
- Sequence of events.
- Flight is expected to last 12 hours.
- Dragon Crew Freedom
- Ax-2 crew, ax2 (Axiom)
Flight phases (Departure to splashdown)
Crew Dragon autonomously undocks from the ISS and performs a departure burn to move away from the orbiting laboraty
- Phasing burns
Dragon performs a series of orbit-lowering maneuvers that line up its ground track with the desired landing location.
- Trunk jettison
Prior to Dragon’s de-orbit burn, the flight computer jettison’s the trunk in order to reduce mass and save propellant.
- De-orbit burn
Dragon conducts its de-orbit burn, which lasts -12 minutes.
Dragon experiences significant heating and drag as it re-enters Earth’s atmosphere, which slows the velocity to the point of safe parachute deploy.
- Parachutes deploy
Dragon’s two drogue parachutes deploy at -8.000 feet (2,4 km) followed by four main parachutes that deploy at -6.500 feet (1,9 km).
Under four main parachutes Dragon safely touches at a velocity of 25 feet per second (27 km/h) and autonomously releases its parachutes.
Favorable weather conditions
- No chance of lightning in the recovery zone
- No rain in the recovery zone
- Windspeeds less than 10 miles/hour
- Calm sea
- 00:00:00 Recovery teams prepositioned and stand-by (max 3 miles from target)
- 00:00:00 Helicopter ready to land on the recovery vessel
- 00:00:00 Crew suited up
- 00:00:00 Dragon hatch sealed
- 00:00:00 ISS hatch sealed
- 00:08:00 SpaceX teams pull Go for undocking
- 00:00:00 Undocking sequence commanded (completely autonomous, no action required from the crew). Call out
- 00:00:00 Umbilicals demate (power, telemetry and commands). Call out.
- 00:00:00 Release of the 12 hard capture hooks in two separate phases of six hooks. Each set of hooks takes a little bit more than two minutes to fully retract.
- 00:00:00 Claw separate. The claw connects the trunk to the capsule. It also delivers power, telemetry and fluids. The claw separation is the first step in the trunk separation.
- 00:00:00 All hooks open.
- 00:00:00 Dragon separation confirmation
- 00:00:00 Initial departure with two short thruster fireings using a combination of the 12 Draco engines around the base of the capsule. The first two helps to break any stiction between Dragon and the docking port and the second slowly backs the spacecraft away.
- 00:00:00 Undocking completed. Undocking sequence takes 5 minutes.
- 00:00:00 Phasing burn to lower the orbit and to line the spacecraft up with the landing zone
- 00:08:00 Dragon is isolating the thermal control system fluid loops from the radiator. This system will help to keep the internal temperature temperate of for the crew during re-entry
- 00:12:00 Jettison trunk in order to expose the heat shield which is located at the bottom of the capsule
- 00:13:00 De-orbit sequence start (takes about 13 minutes)
- 00:18:00 De-orbit burn by the four Draco’s (forward bulkhead thrusters).
- 00:00:00 Four departure burns to move away from the ISS. Draco thrusters.
- 00:00:00 Seconds departure burn 1. Trajectory up and over the ISS. Keep Out Sphere (KOS) ISS
- 00:30:00 De-orbit burn completed
- 00:30:00 Check de-orbit trajectory
- 00:30:00 Inhibiting the forward bulkhead thrusters to ensures it is safe to latch the nose-cone shut for re-entry
- 00:30:00 Nose-cone closure initiated
- 00:35:00 Nose-cone locked by two sets of hooks
- 00:36:00 Dragon initiates purge nitrox in suits and cabin. This will help keep te crew cool and comfortable during re-entry
- 00:53:00 Re-entry in Earth’s atmosphere, heatshield pointed forward and leading to the landing site. Heatshield made of Pica 3.0 (phenolic impregnated carbon ablator)
- 00:56:00 Communication blackout. Anticipated Loss of signal by plasma formation (LOS, 7 minutes). No telemetry.
- 00:59:00 Thermal camera’s tracking re-entry.
- 01:00:52 View from recovery ship
- 01:01:47 Communication restored. Acquisition of signal (AOS). Positive commcheck. Expect automated chute deployment. GPS converged. Expect normal altitude for drogue parachute deploy.
- 01:03:42 View from chaserplane (W-B57)
- 01:04:15 Deployment of the two drogue parachutes (18.000 feet in altitude). Drogue window. Visual on healthy drogues parachutes.
- 01:05:03 Deployment of the four main parachutes (6.000 feet in altitude). At velocity 119 miles/hour (191 km/h). Visual on healthy parachutes.
- 00:06:00 Callout 1 km, 800 meters, 600, 400, 200, brace for splashdown
- 01:08:17 Splashdown off the coast of Florida (Gulf coast, targeted: Panama City, Florida). 12 hours later.
- 01:30:00 Dragon in hydrolic lift
- 01:32:33 Dragon in nest on recovery vessel
- 01:42:20 Opening hatch
- 01:55:00 All four astronauts out
- 00:00:00 Crew by helicopter to land.
Falcon Heavy with Hughes Jupiter 3/EchoStar 24 (Launch 28-07-2023)
- SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket ESA Jupiter 3/EchoStar 24 satellite.
- Heaviest geostationary satellite yet (9.2 metric tons, 9200 kilogram).
- Satellite: 50 meters wide, 20 meters antenna.
- Customer: EchoStar.
- First attempt scrubbed due to a valve that stacked open in one of the sidebooster at T-00:01:00. Pressurisation was not possible. Valve replaced.
- Launch: 28-07-2023 (second attempt). 11:04 PM EST.
- From: KSC LC-39A.
- Boosters landing: LZ-1 and LZ-2.
- Extra 3rd burn to increase the perigee.
- 3rd Falcon Heavy launch in 2023 and 6th overall.
- Falcon Heavy is three Falcon 9’s strapped together. It can carry payloads to Earth’s orbit to the Moon and Mars.
- Falcon 9 is a two stage vehicle but the big difference is the Falcon Heavy first stage is comprised of three cores and Falcon 9 has only one. That means the Falcon heavy has 28 engines in total each one of the three boosters has nine M1d engines at the bottom making for a total of 27 engines across the center core and both side boosters (3 x 9).
- Engine 28 is a Merlin vacuum engine and on board the second stage and that powers the payload to its final targeted orbit.
- All together the Merlin 1D engines at the base of Falcon Heavy produce 5 million pounds of thrust which is equal to 18 747’s at takeoff. In fact the engines produce so much power that they don’t run all at full thrust at once until after liftoff.
- No attempt to recover the center core today. The center core has no landing legd or grid fins attached. That is because this mission requires more performance than we have to be able to recover the center core and that landing hardware is not needed.
- SpaceX has different configurations depending of the second stage depending on how long the second stage needs to operate after launch. The second stage has three general configurations:
- Medium coast kit (used today) provided better performance for some missions and includes an added battery loaf or power pack, a painted gray stripe of paint on outside of the fuel tank and other hardware to make sure the fuel and stages systems operate as long as needed once we get to space. The paint will absorb heat from the Sun in order to keep the second stage fuel warm enough for a long flight.
- Failing halves will be recovered and reused.
Sequence of events
- T- 00:53:00 LD verifies Go for propellant load
- T- 00:50:00 Stage 1 RP-1 loading begins
- T- 00:45:00 Stage 1 LOX load begins
- T- 00:35:00 Stage 2 RP-1 load begins
- T- 00:18:30 Stage 2 LOX load begins
- T- 00:07:00 Falcon Heavy begins engine chill
- T- 00:06:30 Stage 1 RP-1load complete
- T- 00:04:30 Strongback retract start
- T- 00:03:53 Clamp arms open
- T- 00:03:30 Start strongback retract. Just prior to liftoff the strongback will retract all the way away from Falcon Heavy so that it can clear the launch pad.
- T- 00:03:09 Side core LOX load complete
- T- 00:03:10 Stage 1 LOX load complete
- T- 00:02:59 Center core LOX load complete
- T- 00:01:58 Stage 2 LOX load complete
- T- 00:01:27 Broadcast closeouts
- T- 00:00:59 Falcon Heavy is in startup mode (internal computers take over the countdown)
- T- 00:00:59 Stage 1 and stage 2 begin to pressurize for launch
- T- 00:00:45 LD verifies Go for launch
- T- 00:00:30 Callout 30 seconds
- T- 00:00:20 Propellant tanks presurize for flight
- T- 00:00:15 Callout 15 seconds
- T- 00:00:10 Callout 10 to ignition, engines full power
- T- 00:00:06 Engine ignition sequence starts
- T+ 00:00:00 Falcon Heavy launch (T+0)
- T+ 00:00:03 Engines full power and liftoff
- T+ 00:00:14 Stable configuration
- T+ 00:00:20 Stage 1 chamber pressure is nominal
- T+ 00:00:40 Throttling down in preparation for Max-Q (683 km/h)
- T+ 00:00:48 Power en telemetry nominal
- T+ 00:01:00 Supersonic (1188 km/h)
- T+ 00:01:15 Maximum aerodynamic pressure (Max-Q) (1.663 km/h)
- T+ 00:01:29 Side boosters are throttled all the way up now but the center core is operating at a reduced power. Now gradually begin reducing thrust from the side boosters to decrease forces on the vehicle structure as we approach BECO.
- T+ 00:02:30 Boosters engines cutoff (BECO) (5.897 km/h)
- T+ 00:02:35 Boosters separation, side core seperation
- T+ 00:02:35 Center core engines ramp up to full power and burn for approximately another minute.
- T+ 00:02:29 2nd stage engine starts (SES-1)
- T+ 00:02:47 Boosters boostback startup
- T+ 00:03:52 1st stage center core main engine cutoff (MECO)
- T+ 00:03:55 Boosters boostback shutdown
- T+ 00:03:56 Stage separation of the center core and the 2nd stage
- T+ 00:04:07 Acquisition of signal in Bermuda (14.370 km/h)
- T+ 00:04:10 Stage 1 FTS has saved center core
- T+ 00:04:11 Second engine Start. Merlin vac (Mvac) ignition (SES-1)
- T+ 00:04:32 Fairing seperation (14.964 km/h)
- T+ 00:07:47 Side boosters landing (23.516 km/h)
- T+ 00:08:37 Second Engine Cutoff 1 (SECO-1) (26.673 km/h)
- Coast phase
- T+ 00:26:14 2nd stage engine starts (SES-2) (about 120 seconds burn) (27.033 km/h, 181 km)
- T+ 00:28:14 2nd stage engine cutoff (SECO-2) (35.139 km/h, 193 km).
- Coast phase
- T+ 03:22:08 2nd stage engine starts (SES-3) (about 30 seconds burn)
- T+ 03:22:38 2nd stage engine cutoff (SECO-3) (4.889 km/h, 28.403 km)
- T+ 03:28:59 Jupiter 3/EchoStar 24 payload deloyment (4.713 km/h, 28.900 km)
Autonomous spaceport drone ship (ASDS)
Unmanned surface vehicle
- Just read the instructions I (retired, Marmac 300)
- A shortfall of gravitas (ASOG, Atlantic, Marmac 302)
- Just read the instructions II (JRTI, Atlantic, Marmac 303)
- Of course I still love you ((OCISLY, Pacific, Marmac 304)