Watch Live Today! SpaceX Radarsat Satellite Launch, NASA Hidden Figures Celebration

SpaceX will use a Falcon 9 rocket to launch three new Earth-observing satellites for the Canadian Space Agency on Wednesday (June 12). It is scheduled to lift off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 10:17 a.m. EDT (1417 GMT). 

You can watch a live webcast of the mission in the window above, courtesy of SpaceX. Live commentary should begin about 15 minutes prior to liftoff. 

Full Story: Used SpaceX Rocket Launching 3 Satellites Wednesday: How to Watch Live

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket topped with the three satellites of the Radarsat Constellation Mission rolls out to the launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base in June 2019.

(Image: © SpaceX)

From SpaceX:

SpaceX is targeting Wednesday, June 12 for launch of RADARSAT Constellation Mission from Space Launch Complex 4E (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The primary launch window opens at 7:17 a.m. PDT, or 14:17 UTC, and closes at 7:30 a.m. PDT, or 14:30 UTC. The satellites will begin deployment approximately 54 minutes after launch. A backup launch window opens on Thursday, June 13 at 7:17 a.m. PDT, or 14:17 UTC, and closes at 7:30 a.m. PDT, or 14:30 UTC. 

Falcon 9’s first stage for launch of RADARSAT Constellation Mission previously supported Crew Dragon’s first demonstration mission in March 2019. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will return to land on SpaceX’s Landing Zone 4 (LZ-4) at Vandenberg Air Force Base. 

PAYLOAD 

The RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) is the evolution of the RADARSAT Program and builds on Canada’s expertise and leadership in Earth observation from space. It consists of three identical C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Earth observation satellites. 

Built by MDA, a Maxar company, the three-satellite configuration of the RCM will provide daily revisits of Canada's vast territory and maritime approaches, including the Arctic up to 4 times a day, as well as daily access to any point of 90% of the world's surface. 

The RCM will support the Government of Canada in delivering responsive and cost-effective services to meet Canadian needs in areas like maritime surveillance, ecosystem and climate change monitoring, and helping disaster relief efforts. For example:

  • The RCM will help create precise sea ice maps of Canada’s oceans and the Great Lakes to facilitate navigation and commercial maritime transportation. Each satellite also carries an Automatic Identification System receiver, allowing improved detection and tracking of vessels of interest.
  • The highly accurate data collected by RCM will enable farmers to maximize crop yields while reducing energy consumption and the use of potential pollutants. 
  • Like RADARSAT-2, the RCM will support relief efforts by providing images of areas affected by disasters to help organize emergency response efforts and protect the local population.  

Space Webcasts: NASA Renaming Ceremony Honors 'Hidden Figures'

NASA will honor its "hidden figures" Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson by renaming the street outside the agency's headquarters in Washington "Hidden Figures Way." 

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and Sen. Ted Cruz will hold a renaming ceremony outside NASA Headquarters on Wednesday (June 12) at 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT). You can watch it live on Cruz's Facebook page at facebook.com/SenatorTedCruz

From NASA:

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will be joined at 10 a.m. EDT Wednesday, June 12, by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, and author Margot Lee Shetterly for the renaming of the street in front of NASA Headquarters in Washington – E Street SW – to "Hidden Figures Way."

The event will honor Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, who were featured in Shetterly’s book – and subsequent movie – Hidden Figures, as well as all women who have dedicated their lives to honorably serving their country, advancing equality, and contributing to the United States space program. Family members representing these women also will be in attendance.

Following the ceremony, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington will host Mission Debrief: Hidden Figures, a part of their online event series STEM in 30. This event will air live at 1 p.m., on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

The ceremony will be livestreamed at https://www.facebook.com/SenatorTedCruz.

Live HD Views of Earth from Space

You can watch live, high-definition views of Earth from the International Space Station thanks to NASA's High Definition Earth Viewing experiment (HDEV). This live video provides alternating views from four of the station's external cameras nearly 24/7, with the exception of regular and temporary dropouts that occur when the station switches its connection between different communications satellites. Watch it live in the window above, courtesy of NASA TV. 

From NASA:

"Behold, the Earth! See live views of Earth from the International Space Station coming to you by NASA's High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) experiment.

"While the experiment is operational, views will typically sequence through the different cameras. If you are seeing a black image, the Space Station is on the night side of the Earth. If you are seeing an image with text displayed, the communications are switching between satellites and camera feeds are temporarily unavailable. Between camera switches, a black & gray slate will also briefly appear.

"The experiment was activated on April 30, 2014 and is mounted on the External Payload Facility of the European Space Agency’s Columbus module. This experiment includes several commercial HD video cameras aimed at the Earth which are enclosed in a pressurized and temperature controlled housing. To learn more about the HDEV experiment, visit: https://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/ESRS/HDEV/

"Please note: The HDEV cycling of the cameras will sometimes be halted, causing the video to only show select camera feeds. This is handled by the HDEV team, and is only scheduled on a temporary basis. Nominal video will resume once the team has finished their scheduled event."

'ISS Live!' Tune in to the International Space Station

Find out what the astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station are up to by tuning in to the "ISS Live" broadcast. Hear conversations between the crew and mission controllers on Earth and watch them work inside the U.S. segment of the orbiting laboratory. When the crew is off duty, you can enjoy live views of Earth from Space. You can watch and listen in the window below, courtesy of NASA.

From NASA:

"Live video from the International Space Station includes internal views when the crew is on-duty and Earth views at other times. The video is accompanied by audio of conversations between the crew and Mission Control. This video is only available when the space station is in contact with the ground. During 'loss of signal' periods, viewers will see a blue screen.

"Since the station orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes, it experiences a sunrise or a sunset about every 45 minutes. When the station is in darkness, external camera video may appear black, but can sometimes provide spectacular views of lightning or city lights below." 

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