Flight Data: Falcon 9 / Jason-3 Launch

This is a reconstructed timeline of Sunday’s Falcon 9 mission that successfully delivered the Jason-3 Oceanography Satellite to a 1,300-Kilometer orbit and attempted a return of the first stage booster to the Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship that ended with the rocket tipping over after one of its four landing legs failed to lock in place. (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+00:25 Pitch Maneuver
T+00:34 Propellant Utilization Active
T+00:59 Drone Ship Acquisition of Signal
T+01:14 Mach 1
T+01:23 MaxQ displayed on Webcast
T+01:51 MVac In-Flight Chilldown
T+02:34* Main Engine Cutoff – Altitude: 67km, Velocity: 1.71km/s
T+02:37* Stage Separation
T+02:45* Mvac Ignition
T+02:49 First Stage Flip Maneuver Start
T+03:15* Payload Fairing Jettison (Altitude: 110km)
T+04:17 Stage 2 at Mach 6
T+04:27 First Stage Boost-Back Start
T+05:04 Boost-Back Completion
T+06:18 Stage 2 at Mach 10
T+07:02 First Stage Re-Entry Burn Start
T+07:27 First Stage Entry Burn Cutoff
T+07:41 First Stage Flight Termination System safing
T+07:45 Stage 2 at Mach 15
T+08:20 Stage 1 Transsonic
T+08:30 Stage 2 Flight Termination System safing
T+08:35 Landing Burn Start
T+08:39 Stage 2 at Mach 20
T+08:42 LOS at Cook Alpha Tracking Station
T+09:03 Landing Legs Deployed
T+09:04 Stage 2 Shutdown
T+09:xx First Stage Landing on ASDS (Failure)
T+11:30 Stage 2 Loss of Signal
T+33:44 Troll Acquisition of Signal
T+46:36 HBK Acquisition of Signal
T+51:06 Mvac Engine Chilldown for second Burn
T+51:33 Stage 2 Tank Pressurization
T+53:17 LOS at Troll Ground Station
T+53:20 MVac Chilldown complete
T+55:17 Mvac Ignition confirmed
T+55:24 Stage 2 Shutdown
T+56:02 Jason-3 Spacecraft Separation
T~1:21:xx Stage 2 Deorbit Burn (Approx. 20 sec)
*Adjusted for known onboard video delay
Propulsive Flight:

Liftoff: January 17, 2016 – 18:42:18 UTC
First Stage Burn: 154 Seconds
1st Second Stage Burn: 379 Seconds
2nd Second Stage Burn: 5.5 Seconds
Second Stage Deorbit Burn: ~20 Seconds
First Stage Boost Back Burn: 37 Seconds
First Stage Re-Entry Burn: 25 Seconds
First Stage Landing Burn: 30-35 Seconds


Parking Orbit: 175 x 1,321 Kilometers, Inclination: 66°
Insertion Orbit: 1,305 x 1,320 Kilometers, Inclination: 66° (Onboard nav solution)
Insertion Orbit: 1,295 x 1,320 Kilometers, Inclination: 66.05°(JSpOC Tracking)