SpaceX is poised to launch a used Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center at sunset Wednesday, two days after delivering 10 satellites to orbit from California.
There’s an 80 percent chance of favorable weather for the 6:53 p.m. launch of a commercial communications satellite for SES and EchoStar from KSC’s pad 39A, at the opening of a two-hour window.
Meanwhile, United Launch Alliance on Monday rolled an Atlas V rocket from its pad back to a processing tower at Launch Complex 41, where a telemetry transmitter will be replaced.
The faulty transmitter caused ULA to scrub its countdown to a planned early Saturday launch of a U.S. national security satellite, the mission’s third scrub in as many days. Weather thwarted the first two tries.
ULA likely will not be ready for a fourth attempt to launch the National Reconnaissance Office’s NROL-52 mission before Saturday, Oct. 14, at the earliest.
SpaceX on Monday completed its third of eight planned launches for Iridium Communications, placing 10 Iridium NEXT satellites into low Earth orbit.
A Falcon 9 blasted off at 8:37 a.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex-4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
A little less than an hour after liftoff, the first of the 10 spacecraft was deployed in a north-south orbit circling the poles. The remainder followed like “a string of beads,” a SpaceX launch commentator said, pushing away in 100-second increments.
SpaceX landed the rocket’s first-stage booster on the deck of an unmanned ship named “Just Read the Instructions,” which was floating offshore in the Pacific Ocean.
The launch was SpaceX’s 14th this year, and the landing its 11th.
If successful, Wednesday’s mission from KSC would be the second time since June that SpaceX has launched two satellites within two days from two different coasts.
The mission, which was delayed from last Saturday to allow more time for preparations, will re-fly a Falcon booster that first launched back in February, when it helped boost supplies to the International Space Station in February.
SpaceX will try to land the booster for a second time on another ship, the “Of Course I Still Love You,” stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
Contact Dean at 321-242-3668 or email@example.com. And follow on Twitter at @flatoday_jdean and on Facebook at facebook.com/jamesdeanspace.