It is a big day for Elon Musk's SpaceX. The first Falcon 9 launch after the explosion in June takes off today at 8
SpaceX will launch between 8pm and 9pm ET tonight a Falcon 9 rocket. This is significant, as its the first Falcon 9 launch after the disaster in June, where a Falcon 9 exploded after take-off.
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Update: Launch cancelled. SpaceX is currently aiming for a Monday, December 21st launch of the Falcon 9 rocket. Live broadcast to start approx. 8:10pm ET with liftoff at approximately 8:33pm ET.
With this mission, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will deliver 11 satellites to low-Earth orbit for ORBCOMM, a global provider of Machine-to-Machine communication and Internet of Things solutions.
The ORBCOMM mission launch from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
SpaceX says if all goes as planned, the 11 satellites will be deployed approximately 20 minutes after liftoff, completing a 17-satellite, low Earth orbit constellation for ORBCOMM.
This mission also marks SpaceX’s return-to-flight as well as its first attempt to land a first stage on land. The landing of the first stage is a secondary test objective.
SpaceX has already tried to land the Falcon 9 on a boat, but that did not work yet. Today the private space venture will try to do it on land, seems easier.
The Falcon 9 ORBCOMM-2 mission will be video streamed live online on spacex.com. This should be a nice evening entertainment for space fans. Let's hope Elon Musk and his team of engineers fixed everything that caused the explosion last time. It is important that this mission will be a success.
The SpaceX live video stream page has a countdown that currently shows 6h and 24min, which would put the launch at 8:30pm ET.
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Falcon 9 is a two-stage rocket designed and manufactured by SpaceX for the transport of satellites and the Dragon spacecraft into orbit. The rocket is 70m tall and has a diameter of 3.7m. It weighs over 541 tons. The payload to Geosynchronous orbit is close to 5 tons and to low earth orbit the rocket can carry over a 13 ton payload.