After weather conditions prevented SpaceX from launching its communication satellite into orbit on Tuesday morning, the company is trying again.
The space company’s Falcon 9 rocket is now scheduled to launch on Thursday at 1:35 a.m. Eastern. The rocket will carry the EchoStar XXIII communications satellite, which will orbit about 22,000 miles above the Earth’s surface and provide broadcast services for Brazil.
This will be SpaceX’s second launch from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. The historic pad, which was used for the first Moon mission, will accommodate SpaceX’s Florida launches thanks to a deal with NASA in 2014 for a 20-year lease to use the site. SpaceX has another orbital launch site in California.
Unlike last month's launch, when Falcon 9 lifted off and successfully returned back to Earth, SpaceX will not be attempting to recover and land the rocket post-takeoff because the EchoStar XXIII satellite is prohibitively heavy. In other words, due to the EchoStar's weight, Falcon 9 won't have enough fuel to executive both a take-off and a landing.
The two-and-a-half hour launch window for Falcon 9 will open at 1:35 am ET tonight, and weather conditions are expected to be favorable. SpaceX will stream the launch on its website starting 20 minutes before takeoff.