Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has been feverishly working to improve its rockets to complete their mission goals. Of course, things don’t always go as planned and the company has to go back to the drawing board, which they have done once again; and now they are ready to try again with the launch of a new rocket this afternoon.
The rocket will carry the payload of an SES telecommunications satellite; the very same payload aboard the launch that was originally scheduled for Wednesday only to be called off just 35 minutes before the final countdown. The reset launch will be at 6:46 pm, tonight, at Florida’s Cape Canaveral.
In at statement, SpaceX said, “Out of an abundance of caution, the team opted to hold launch for today to ensure liquid oxygen temperatures are as cold as possible in an effort to maximize performance of the vehicle.”
The forecast for tonight’s launch calls for cloudy skies and temperatures in the high 50s with a wind speed range of 10-15 mph.
With the completion of this launch, SpaceX will celebrate its first successful mission of the year, from Cape Canaveral.
The SES satellite aboard the SpaceX rocket will go help telecommunication and broadcasting efforts in Asia once it goes into orbit.
SES spokeswoman Nita Wright comments that the crew continues to be confident in the success of this launch. She says, “There is a confidence in the launch because (preparation) is done now. Now, everything is go, go, go until launch.”
More importantly, though, SpaceX will attempt to safely bring the rocket back to Earth after it makes its delivery. This has long been their goal and industry experts continue to applaud their efforts as the success of these missions will ensure lower costs for transporting cargo into space, in the future (as we will no longer need to build a new rocket for every launch).
Indeed, Rob Salonen, of the Florida Institute of Technology, comments, “One of the limiting factors to a more-robust space program is the cost of getting payloads into orbit. If SpaceX can make it less expensive to do that, it lowers the cost of that orbit.”