SpaceX then announced late Monday evening that it was postponing the launch to today to have more time for last-minute checks.
The first stage booster landing attempt may mean a sonic boom will be heard in Brevard, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia counties. The new sensor was expected to be carried to the ISS on the suspended SpaceX mission, and NASA TV was preparing to stream its launch. Eastern. Forecasts projected an 80 percent chance of acceptable weather for the launch, with winds the primary concern.
This cargo flight is carrying almost 2,200 kg of cargo, supplies and science experiments to the International Space Station, where it is expected to arrive for berthing on Friday, December 15.
The Falcon 9 launcher awaiting liftoff from pad 40 will be powered by a reused first stage booster, on the first flight in which NASA has agreed to put its cargo on a recycled commercial rocket.
After this launch, SpaceX has one more mission planned for this year, launching 10 Iridium Next satellites December 22 on a Falcon 9 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, a mission that will also use a previously-flown booster.
Geminid Meteor Shower Peaks Wednesday Night
What time should I go out and look? The annual Geminid meteor shower is one of the most spectacular meteor showers of the year. Phaethon is possibly what NASA refer to as a "dead comet" or "rock comet".
The launch is a first for SpaceX, and its breakthrough could pave the way for a more sustainable space trip. "We're very comfortable that the risk posture on this vehicle is not significantly greater than a new booster". "We have gone in and done a lot of work reinforcing the structures, developing the ground systems, and building systems common with our other pads so that people and tools can be reused between all the pads at SpaceX".
Construction members made KSC's pad 39A, which SpaceX had already leased from NASA and altered from its space shuttle layout, to support Falcon 9 flights this year, then turned their attention to repairing and upgrading pad 40. That includes its nine Merlin main engines. The Dragon spacecraft will deliver 4,800 lbs of food, supplies and science gear. The company said it's part of its larger effort to "be the first beer on Mars".
Travelling to the ISS in the "trunk" of the Dragon capsule are two new instruments for the space station.
This will be the first mission to launch from Launch Complex 40 since a September 2016 explosion damaged the pad's structure, forcing the company to rebuild and modernize the complex. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook at @EmreKelly. The launch is now scheduled for approximately 11:24 a.m.