What Time Is the SpaceX Launch Today? How to Watch Falcon 9 Take Off Live Online, in Person

SpaceX is due to launch a satellite for the U.S. Space Force from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Thursday.

The 15-minute launch window to send the GPS III-5 satellite into orbit from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station opens at 12:09 p.m. EDT, according to SpaceX. Elon Musk's aerospace company plans to use its Falcon 9 rocket for the launch.

If that launch window is missed for whatever reason, a second opportunity is planned for Friday at 12:05 p.m. EDT.

On Thursday, SpaceX will use a Falcon 9 first stage, or rocket section, that previously launched the GPS III-4 satellite last November, the company said.

After the stages separate, Falcon 9's first stage will land on the "Just Read the Instructions" drone ship positioned in the Atlantic Ocean.

The satellite is part of the GPS III flock of satellites built by Lockheed Martin with the aim of modernizing the GPS satellite constellation.

How to watch the Spacex launch online

According to SpaceX, a webcast of the mission will start around 15 minutes before liftoff. The stream can be accessed here, via the SpaceX website, or seen below.

How to watch the SpaceX launch in person

The launch can be viewed from either the Banana Creek Launch Viewing Area or the North Atlantis Lawn at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

The Banana Creek viewing area sits around 6.2 miles from the launch pad. Entry costs $20 on top of admission to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, with bleachers opening at 9:45 a.m. The Space Center describes this as a "prime viewing location."

The North Atlantis Lawn at the main visitor complex is slightly farther away from the launch pad, at 6.7 miles, and access is included with admission to the center. The lawn opens at 10:00 a.m.

The Center advises people to arrive early and expect high traffic near the visitor area and on the Space Coast. Viewers are also advised to bring sun protection, insect repellent, coolers or lunch boxes, water in plastic bottles, blankets or folding camp chairs, as well as viewing equipment such as cameras, tripods and binoculars.

After closing in March 2020 because of the COVID pandemic, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex reopened in May 2020. Guests who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear face coverings.

spacex launch falcon 9, getty
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is pictured launching from NASA's Kennedy Space Center on June 3, 2017. Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images