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.
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.
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.
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