NASA Jason-3 Sea Level Rise Reconnaissance Satellite Successfully Blasts off on SpaceX Falcon 9; Hard Landing on Barge

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is seen as it launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base Space Launch Complex 4 East with the Jason-3 spacecraft onboard, , Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Jason-3, an international mission led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will help continue U.S.-European satellite measurements of global ocean height changes. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched the NASA/NOAA/European Jason-3 sea level rise reconnaissance satellite a short while ago today, Sunday, Jan. 17, from Vandenberg Air Force Base into a polar orbit around the Earth.The launch was a complete success with all first and second stage rocket firings and the Jason-3 deployment occurring precisely as planned and on time. The Jason-3 spacecraft was delivered successfully into its intended polar orbit. Despite being obscured by heavy coastal fog, the liftoff took place on time at the opening of the 30-second launch window on Sunday morning, Jan. 17 at 10:42:18 a.m. PST (1:42:18 EST) from Space Launch Complex 4 (SLC 4) on Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California.The exact launch time was 10:42:18.386 a.m. PST, or 1:42:18.386 p.m. EST — “the targeted bulls-eye,” according to NASA Launch Commentator George Diller.Spacecraft separation occurred on time at about 2:36 pm. The solar array deployment began on time. Full deployment awaits confirmation at this time.Check back later on this breaking news.Watch this NASA video describing the Jason-3 mission and objectives:https://youtu.be/wA4XRpZ9gmsStay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and planetary science and human spaceflight news.Ken Kremer

The post NASA Jason-3 Sea Level Rise Reconnaissance Satellite Successfully Blasts off on SpaceX Falcon 9; Hard Landing on Barge appeared first on Universe Today.

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