SpaceX to launch from Space Coast next week

James Marshall
March 12, 2017

SpaceX is planning an early morning launch next week from Kennedy Space Center.

Chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell said the company, which is dedicated to developing commercial space travel, plans to launch the rocket before the end of March. The test, which was captured on video by SpaceflightNow, is a standard preflight check ahead of every SpaceX launch.

SpaceX leased the pad 39A from government-run NASA in 2014 under a twenty-year contract.

The launch window is set to open at 1:34 a.m. Tuesday.

Also key to an increased launch frequency are repairs to the extensively damaged Launch Pad 40 at Cape Canaveral, and brought back into use. SpaceX has landed Falcon 9 rocket stages during eight of its most recent missions, including the February 19 launch of a Dragon spacecraft carrying NASA cargo to the International Space Station. With a heavy satellite launching to a high orbit, not enough fuel can be saved for a landing attempt at sea, as is sometimes possible with similar missions.If the launch does not happen Tuesday, the next potential attempt would be around the same time Thursday.

SpaceX had hoped to launch EchoStar 23 past year, but the flight was delayed and target launch dates in January and February were also pushed back.

United Launch Alliance had been targeting a March 8 launch of the Delta IV from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station when an engine issue was discovered.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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