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.