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How to watch SpaceX launch a NASA satellite on Saturday and land with a boom


Illustration of the Sentinel-6 / Michael Freilich satellite in orbit.


The next SpaceX Falcon 9 launch is scheduled to orbit a new NASA and European Space Agency satellite as soon as Saturday. The payload will be the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite, the latest in a series of satellites that have provided critical data on sea level rise and climate change for nearly three decades. It is named after the former director of NASA’s Earth Science Division, Michael Freilich, who is considered a pioneer in performing oceanography from orbit.

The new sea pioneer bird will be able to measure sea levels within a few centimeters for 90% of the world’s oceans. A dual satellite called Sentinel-6B will join the effort when it launches in 2025. Instruments on the new satellites will also provide atmospheric temperature and humidity data that help improve weather forecasts, according to NASA.

The mission begins with the rather rare launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. A statement from Vandenberg warns that more sound barriers could be heard in parts of Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties when Falcon 9’s first stage returns for a landing after lifting the satellite into orbit. It should happen approx. eight minutes after abolition.

Liftoff is currently set for Saturday at 9:17 PT and you can watch via the live feed embedded below.

It may turn out to be a very busy day for SpaceX, which also plans to launch its latest batch of Starlink satellites from Florida just 10 hours later.

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