Thursday, May 26, 2016

SpaceX May 26, 2016 Rocket Launch Scrubbed

SpaceX THAICOM satellite launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida

UPDATE: Thursday's launch has been scrubbed. Another attempt will be made on Friday, May 27, 2016.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a THAICOM 8 satellite is scheduled to liftoff Thursday, May 26, 2016, at 5:40 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. There is a two-hour launch window for this mission.

After separating from the second stage, the first stage of the Falcon 9 will attempt to land onto the deck of the “Of Course I Still Love You” Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship in the Atlantic Ocean several hundred miles off the east coast of Florida.  

Odds are not favorable for a successful landing following the THAICOM 8 launch because the Geo-Stationary Transfer Orbit requires the first stage rocket to reach a significantly higher altitude.  This means that Falcon 9's first stage rocket will come down significantly faster with less fuel to slow its descent. A similar high altitude barge landing resulted in significant damage to a Falcon 9 first stage last month.


THAICOM 8 is the second satellite Orbital ATK has built for Thaicom PLC that was ordered shortly after the THAICOM 6 satellite was successfully launched into orbit in January 2014. 

A Ku-band satellite, THAICOM 8’s payload includes 24 active transponders that will deliver broadcast and data services. The Falcon 9 rocket will deliver the satellite into its targeted geosynchronous transfer orbit where it will enter a 30-day testing phase. Following in-orbit activation and after reaching its final orbital slot, Orbital ATK will then turn over control of the satellite to Thaicom to begin normal operations. THAICOM 8 is designed to operate for more than 15 years.

Photo credit: SpaceX