SpaceX is launching another satellite into space today and you can watch while eating Pringles on your couch.
The rocket is set to carry Indonesia’s first high-throughput satellite, the Nusantara Satu, into orbit. The satellite, built by SSL for Asian telecommunications company PT Pasifik Satelit Nusantara (PSN), will be used to hopefully improve internet connectivity across the Indonesian archipelago. Also onboard the Falcon 9 is the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) S5 spacecraft developed and integrated by Blue Canyon Technologies, which will carry out a one-year mission.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) February 21, 2019
The most exciting “passenger” on the Falcon 9, though, is SpaceIL’s lunar spacecraft Beresheet (Hebrew for “in the beginning”). After SpaceX launches the craft into orbit, it will travel to the moon over the course of the next two months or so. Once it arrives, Beresheet, which competed in the Google Lunar XPrize, will be Israel’s first spacecraft and the world’s first privately funded spacecraft to reach the moon, SpaceX says. It will also be the smallest spacecraft to ever land on the moon, at only 1,322 lbs, or 600 kgs. Once it lands, it will send photos and video of its new home and conduct scientific measurements and maybe say hi to China’s rover.
After dropping off its payload, SpaceX will attempt to land Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 is set to take off on Thursday, February 21, at 8:45 p.m. EST (or 1:45 UTC on February 22, if you prefer) from Florida’s Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. If they miss the launch window, they have allotted backup time on Friday, February 22 at 8:41 p.m. EST.
You can watch the live launch webcast below or via this link, starting about 15 minutes before liftoff: