SpaceX hopes the weather holds out at Cape Canaveral long enough Wednesday to finally launch a Falcon 9 rocket carrying an SES communications satellite into orbit.

Launch time, according to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, is 6:46 p.m., almost a half-hour after sunset. The mission would take the SES-9 satellite, originally slated to go up last August, into an orbit to provide TV and other communications serving South Asia, including Indonesia and the Philippines.

The launch date was confirmed after a successful static engine firing  Monday of the Falcon 9 at Cape Canaveral’s Launch Complex 40.

But there’s a 40 percent chance that weather might bump the launch yet another day, to Thursday. The U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing Weather Squadron forecasts a low pressure system formed Wednesday could push a surface cold front across Cape Canaveral right at launch time. Thunderstorms could be a problem. So could strong surface winds.

Should Wednesday’s launch get scrubbed, Thursday is the backup date. The weather should improve, and the 45th Weather Squadron predicts a 20 percent chance of bad launch weather for Thursday.

The SES mission, and several others, were postponed after SpaceX had a Falcon 9 rocket blow up shortly after liftoff on June 28.

For SpaceX, this will be the second Falcon 9 launch since it returned to launching in December after a spectacular performance. That Dec. 21 launch was picture-perfect and the mission flawlessly delivered 11 ORBCOMM satellites into orbit. Then the first stage of the Falcon 9 made history with a perfect landing at a SpaceX landing pad at Cape Canaveral.

Another landing will be attempted this time.

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at

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