How to Watch SpaceX Launch Its NROL-108 Mission This Morning
SpaceX will soon launch another mission this morning, Saturday, December 19th. The NROL-108 mission was due to start earlier this week but had to be pushed back to allow time for further reviews. Now that the weather is good and the systems are ready, the launch is expected to begin.
The launch is broadcast live by SpaceX and we have all the details on how to watch it live.
This is how you see the start
SpaceX will stream the preparations for the launch, take-off, separation and landing of the rocket’s first stage. The stream can be viewed on the SpaceX website or YouTube page, or using the video embedded above.
The start window begins at 6:00 a.m. (local time) and runs until 9:00 p.m. (local time). The start will be broadcast live. After launch, the livestream shows the separation of the first stage and then the landing of the first stage in landing zone 1 of Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
What do you expect from the start?
The NROL-108 mission will be launched on a Falcon 9 rocket, the company’s signature reusable rocket, from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
SpaceX is known for its ability to reuse the first stage of its rockets, and that particular rocket has been on multiple missions before. “Falcon 9’s first stage booster previously supported the launch of SpaceX’s 19th and 20th cargo supply missions to the International Space Station, a Starlink mission, and the SAOCOM 1B mission,” the company said in a statement.
More about the mission
The NROL-108 mission is one of the SpaceX satellite launch missions for the United States National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). Little information is published about these satellites, using arbitrary numbers as labels. It is not known whether today’s mission will be to launch a satellite or multiple satellites, but it is known that the rocket will fly northeast of Florida across the Atlantic.
According to NASASpaceFlight, this means that the satellite or satellites are not heading into a geosynchronous orbit, but rather an orbit with an inclination of about 50 degrees.
SpaceX previously launched another mission for NGOs after launching NROL-76 in May 2017.