SpaceX Rocket Launch: Falcon 9 | Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR)
SpaceX Falcon 9 Info
Falcon 9 is SpaceX’s two-stage rocket manufactured to successfully transport satellites and their Dragon spacecraft into orbit. Currently the only rocket fully designed and developed in the 21st century, Falcon 9 delivers payloads to space aboard the Dragon spacecraft or inside a composite fairing. Safety and mission success were critical in the design of the Falcon 9 Rocket. With a minimal number of separation events and nine first-stage Merlin engines, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is designed so that even if two of the engines shut down, the rocket can still operate.
In 2012, SpaceX became the first commercial company to rendezvous with the International Space Station. Although these flights have been unmanned, SpaceX continues to work toward their goal of one day carrying astronauts to space in Dragon’s pressurized capsule.
The DSCOVR satellite is crucial in maintaining the precision and delivery of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) space weather alerts and forecasts by continuing the nation’s solar wind observations. By placing DSCOVR in orbit in a neutral gravity point between the Earth and sun, it provides up to a 60 minute warning for geomagnetic storms which can disrupt transportation systems, power grids, telecommunications and GPS. This new-generation satellite improves the detection time and protects the technology that powers our national security and economy.
DSCOVR is a partnership between NOAA, NASA and the U.S. Air Force and intended to replace NASA’s Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) which is currently the only satellite providing real-time solar wind observations.
ProTip: Sign up for email Launch Alerts!
Experience the thunderous roar of a SpaceX rocket as it lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying the DSCOVR mission. There are three viewing options available at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex: both the LC-39 Observation Gantry and the Apollo/Saturn V Center are located within the secured areas of Kennedy Space Center or bleacher seating adjacent to Space Shuttle Atlantis℠ located at the main Visitor Complex.
ProTip #2: KSC’s Visitor Complex is currently displaying the first Dragon capsule (successfully delivered cargo to and from the ISS), which launched in 2012, through Monday, February 9th!
Viewing Location: LC-39 Observation Gantry
LC-39 Observation Gantry offers a premium, up-close view of the rocket on the launch. Feel the force of the rocket and hear the roar of the rocket engines from a premium launch viewing location located just 3.4 miles away from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. This area features lawn and bleacher seating and live launch commentary. This premium viewing location is only available by calling 855.475.8415.
LC-39 Observation Gantry Package Includes: Launch transportation, a light snack and a souvenir t-shirt. Launch Transportation Tickets to the LC-39 Observation Gantry are $49 plus tax in addition to admission, multiday pass or annual pass. Launch transportation tickets are limited.
Bus Transportation Info: Transportation for LC-39 Observation Gantry ticket holders begins at 4:00 pm with the last bus leaving at 5:15 pm.
Viewing Location: Apollo /Saturn V Center
The Apollo/Saturn V Center is located within Kennedy Space Center and is approximately 6 miles from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station launch pad. The viewing area features an open lawn and bleacher section overlooking the scenic Banana River. The area includes live launch commentary and provides access to food, retail and restroom facilities.
Launch Transportation Tickets to Apollo/Saturn V Center are $20 plus tax in addition to admission, multiday pass or annual pass. Launch transportation tickets are limited. Purchase your tickets online or call 866.737.5235.
Bus Transportation Info: Transportation or the Apollo/Saturn V Center ticket holders begins at 3:30 pm. and last bus leaves at 5:15 pm.
Viewing Location: Space Shuttle Atlantis
Located at the main Visitor Complex, viewing adjacent to Space Shuttle Atlantis is included with admission, multiday pass or annual pass. The viewing area is approximately seven miles from the launch pad and affords guests a view of the rocket once it clears the tree line. Bleacher seating and live launch commentary is included.
Launch date, time, and viewing opportunities are subject to change. Launches can be affected by technical and mechanical issues as well as range operations and weather, either in advance or at the last minute. Learn more about KSCVC’s Launch Scrub Policy.
Get up to the minute updates on Twitter: @ExploreSpaceKSC