Reconstruction: Milestone Falcon 9 Flight with eleven OG2 Satellites

This is a reconstructed timeline of Monday’s Falcon 9 mission that successfully delivered eleven Orbcomm second generation satellites to Low Earth Orbit and achieved a milestone in space flight history by becoming the first orbital-class launch vehicle to return its first stage to Earth for a rocket-powered landing just minutes after blasting off. (All times given on this page are to be considered approximate, though should be fairly accurate.)

Time Event
T-00:03 Ignition
T+00:00 Liftoff
T+00:07 Tower Clear
T+01:05 Mach 1
T+01:13 MaxQ displayed on Webcast
T+01:50 MVac In-Flight Chilldown
T+02:23 Main Engine Cutoff – Altitude: 75km, Velocity: 1.67km/s
T+02:25* Stage Separation
T+02:34* Mvac Ignition
T+02:48* Payload Fairing Jettison
T+03:47 First Stage Boost-Back Start
T+04:27 Stage 2 at Mach 5
T+04:33 New Hampshire Acquisition of Signal
T+07:22 Stage 2 at Mach 10
T+08:01 First Stage Re-Entry Burn Start
T+08:21 First Stage Entry Burn Cutoff
T+08:26 Stage 2 at Mach 15
T+09:11 Stage 2 at Mach 20
T+09:11 Landing Burn Start
T+09:26 Stage 2 Shutdown
T+09:44 First Stage Landing at LZ-1
T+14:26 Sat 1 & 2 Deploy
T+15:38 Sat 3 & 4 Deploy
T+16:16 Sat 5 & 6 Deploy
T+17:23 Sat 7 & 8 Deploy
T+18:07 Sat 9 & 10 Deploy
T+19:05 Sat 11 Deploy
T+3x:xx Second Stage Deorbit Burn
T+6x:xx Second Stage Re-Entry

*Adjusted for known onboard video delay

Propulsive Flight:

Liftoff: December 22, 2015 – 01:29 UTC
First Stage Burn: 143 Seconds
Second Stage Burn: 412 Seconds
First Stage Re-Entry Burn: 20 Seconds
First Stage Landing Burn: 33 Seconds


Target Orbit: 620 x 660 Kilometers, Inclination: 47°
Achieved Orbit: 614 x 656 Kilometers, Inclination: 47.00°