CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- The launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a JCSAT-14 communications satellite was rescheduled from Thursday to Friday due to inclement weather around the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The SpaceX rocket launch is scheduled to liftoff no earlier than 1:21 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Friday, May 6, 2016 from Space Launch Complex 40 with a two hour launch window.
Launch Weather 90% 'GO'
According to the latest weather forecast from the United States Air Force 45th Weather Squadron, there is a 90% percent chance overall of acceptable weather conditions for Friday's early morning launch. The primary weather concerns for launch are a thick layer of clouds.
Attempted Landing On Drone Ship
Following stage separation, the first stage of the Falcon 9 will attempt an experimental landing on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship. But SpaceX does not expect a successful landing after launch. That's because the Geo Stationary Transfer Orbit requires the first stage rocket to reach a significantly higher altitude than previous missions. This means that Falcon 9's first stage rocket will becoming down faster with less fuel to slow its descent than prior landing attempts.
"Given this mission’s GTO destination, the first-stage will be subject to extreme velocities and re-entry heating, making a successful landing unlikely," SpaceX stated.
JCSAT-14 is a commercial communications satellite for SKY Perfect JSAT Corpoation, a leading satellite operator in the Asia-Pacific region that provides high-quality satellite communications to its customers using a fleet of 15 satellites.
If all goes as planned, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will deliver the satellite to a Geostationary Transfer Orbit.
Photo credit: SpaceX