All is GO for SpaceX Thanksgiving Day Launch that could ‘Rock’ Space Industry – Live Webcast

by Ken Kremer on November 28, 2013

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Next Generation SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with SES-8 communications satellite awaits launch from Pad 40 at Cape Canaveral, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com

Next Generation SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with SES-8 communications satellite awaits Thanksgiving Day launch from Pad 40 at Cape Canaveral, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com

UPDATE: The launch was scrubbed one second before liftoff at 5:39 p.m. EST Thursday. Computers sensed the Falcon 9′s rocket thrust was building up too slowly. No new launch date was immediately set.

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL – All Systems are “GO” for today’s Thanksgiving Day blastoff of the upgraded SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that could quite literally ‘rock the space industry to its core’ – If all goes well.

Following Monday’s (Nov. 25) scrub during to a series of technical glitches, the rocket, launch pad systems and weather are all cooperating and ready to support the maiden blastoff of the next generation Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 40 at 5:39 p.m. EST.

SpaceX is offering a live webcast of today’s ‘Spacegiving Day’ launch – as they’ve dubbed it.

The live broadcast of the Falcon 9 liftoff from pad 40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL begins at 5 p.m. EST and can be viewed here: www.spacex.com/webcast.

The show will feature commentary about the Falcon 9 rocket and launch sequences and the SES-8 commercial satellite from SpaceX corporate headquarters in Hawthorne, CA.

The Falcon 9/SES-8 launch window extends for 65 minutes.

Next Generation SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with SES-8 communications satellite awaits launch from Pad 40 at Cape Canaveral, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com

Next Generation SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with SES-8 communications satellite awaits launch from Pad 40 at Cape Canaveral, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com

Today’s (Nov. 28) inaugural launch of the privately developed Falcon 9 rocket with the commercial SES-8 HDTV and telecommunications satellite is especially noteworthy because it also features SpaceX’s first ever launch of any satellite to a Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO).

The 3,138 kg (6,918 lbs) SES-8 satellite is a hybrid Ku- and Ka-band spacecraft that will provide TV and communications coverage for the South Asia and Asia Pacific regions.

The Falcon 9 liftoff was postponed to Thanksgiving Day because the FAA did not grant SpaceX a launch permit on Tuesday and Wednesday out of concern it would have significantly impacted allowable flight paths for commercial airliners on two of the busiest travel days of the year, said SpaceX CEO Elon Musk at a media briefing.

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk briefs reporters including Universe Today on Sunday (Nov. 24) in Cocoa Beach, FL prior to planned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blastoff with SES-8 communications satellite set for Nov. 25, 2013 from Cape Canaveral, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk briefs reporters including Universe Today on Sunday (Nov. 24) in Cocoa Beach, FL prior to planned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blastoff with SES-8 communications satellite set for Nov. 28, 2013 from Cape Canaveral, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com

The weather forecast currently shows a 90% chance of favorable conditions at liftoff time according to Air Force meteorologists. The only concern is for winds.

The last time a rocket launched on Thanksgiving Day from Cape Canaveral was back in 1959. It involved an Atlas Able rocket with the Pioneer P-3 lunar probe and failed.

Stay tuned here for continuing SpaceX & MAVEN news and Ken’s SpaceX launch reports from on site at Cape Canaveral & the Kennedy Space Center press site.

Ken Kremer

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Learn more about SpaceX, MAVEN, MOM, Mars rovers, Orion and more at Ken’s upcoming presentations

Nov 28: “SpaceX launch, MAVEN Mars Launch and Curiosity Explores Mars, Orion and NASA’s Future”, Kennedy Space Center Quality Inn, Titusville, FL, 8 PM

Dec 11: “Curiosity, MAVEN and the Search for Life on Mars”, “LADEE & Antares ISS Launches from Virginia”, Rittenhouse Astronomical Society, Franklin Institute, Phila, PA, 8 PM

About 

Dr. Ken Kremer is a speaker, scientist, freelance science journalist (Princeton, NJ) and photographer whose articles, space exploration images and Mars mosaics have appeared in magazines, books, websites and calanders including Astronomy Picture of the Day, NBC, BBC, SPACE.com, Spaceflight Now and the covers of Aviation Week & Space Technology, Spaceflight and the Explorers Club magazines. Ken has presented at numerous educational institutions, civic & religious organizations, museums and astronomy clubs. Ken has reported first hand from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral and NASA Wallops on over 40 launches including 8 shuttle launches. He lectures on both Human and Robotic spaceflight - www.kenkremer.com. Follow Ken on Facebook and Twitter

Aqua4U November 28, 2013 at 6:23 PM

Launch delay.. hope all goes well later today…. Standby one.

Am really surprised to hear about today’s launch because I’d read a report somewhere that said the FAA had nixed a launch on T-Day due to heavy air traffic…. THAT’s what I get for listening to Brand X!

Ken Kremer November 28, 2013 at 10:23 PM

Forget Brand X – stay with Brand U – here!

Aqua4U November 29, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Brand X was SpaceflightNow.com which carried this story:
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/007/131126faa/#.Upi2HFJGj0o

USUALLY, that page is prettay good… but somebody seems to have ‘jumped the gun’ with this announcement?

gopher652003 November 28, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Looks like the launch was scrubbed due to engine issues. They’re taking the rocket down to rip the engines apart for a few days to see if anything major is wrong.

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