CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- The launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a JCSAT-16 communications satellite is scheduled to liftoff no earlier than 1:26 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Sunday, August 14, 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 Sunday's early morning launch. The primary weather concern for launch is cumulus 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 a successful landing after launch may be difficult because the Geo Stationary Transfer Orbit requires the first stage rocket to reach a significantly higher altitude than other recovered 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.
The first stage rocket for the last JCSAT mission did successfully land and was recently test fired by SpaceX.
JCSAT-16 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.
Photo credit: SpaceX