8
$\begingroup$

When SpaceX recovers the Falcon 9 first stage at sea, roughly how much time passes between lift-off and soft touchdown on the barge?

$\endgroup$
9
$\begingroup$

This depends on the exact flight profile. For the upcoming (hopefully today's) DSCOVR mission launch, expected first stage landing is at T+09:20 (liftoff is at T-0, which is not exactly the case for all launch vehicles, but the difference would still be up to a few seconds at most). For the SpX-5 cargo mission to the station, this ETA was at T+09:45 (reentry was slower from insertion into LEO that it will be from the flight profile for the higher energy trajectory towards Sun-Earth Lagrange point 1's insertion, so next reentry will reach roughly 2x the dynamic pressure than the previous one - i.e. initial first stage descent will be faster too).

So, on average, the Falcon 9 first stage is expected to land downrange on ASDS (Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship) roughly 9 and a half minutes after liftoff.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.