Update: SpaceX Shifts Launch to Monday to Maximize Landing Chances

Monday's Child Credit: Orbcomm

Monday’s Child
Credit: Orbcomm

SpaceX has shifted tonight’s Orbcomm-2 flight back a day until Monday, apparently for a couple of reasons.

Update from Elon Musk:

and the accompanying update from SpaceX:

“SpaceX is currently aiming for a Monday, December 21st launch of the Falcon 9 rocket, carrying 11 satellites for ORBCOMM. The launch is part of ORBCOMM’s second and final OG2 Mission and will lift off from SpaceX’s launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.  This mission also marks the first time SpaceX will attempt to land the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket on land. The landing of the first stage is a secondary test objective.

The launch webcast is targeted to begin approximately 8:10pm ET with liftoff at approximately 8:33pm ET. ”

Reflecting a bit of a different angle on a launch which caries an unusual degree of importance, Orbcomm cited another reason for the delay:

From Orbcomm:

December 20, 2015 (4:00 pm ET)
We have an update regarding tonight’s target launch for ORBCOMM’s OG2 Mission 2. Upon further review of the static fire data, SpaceX has determined that an additional day prior to launch will allow for more analysis and time to further chill the liquid oxygen in preparation for launch. Please note that we will now be targeting launch for tomorrow, Monday, December 21 at 8:33 pm ET.

Original story: (and still relevant since Mr. Musk elected to use a football analogy in his tweet)

As night falls across the United States this evening, Carrie Underwood will once again be singing “I’ve been waiting all day for Sunday night,” this time as the Cardinals and Eagles get ready to mix it up. At Cape Canaveral and around the world however, it will be another bird of prey, a Falcon, which many have been a waiting a lot longer than one day to see take flight again, and in the long run even more importantly, to land.

For the first time since a stunning failure on June 28th as part of the NASA CRS-7 mission to ISS, SpaceX will be launching its Falcon 9 rocket. And as a tweet from Elon Musk confirms, attempting to bring it back to land as well.

Liftoff is scheduled for no earlier than 8:29 PM ET from Cape Canaveral’s SLC-40, carrying 11 OG2 satellites for Orbcomm. And in what will be a first since the Shuttle era ended in July 2011, but hopefully a routine facet of things to come, area residents have been notified to expect a sonic boom as the first stage makes its way back to what SpaceX has called Landing Complex 1, the former SLC-13 which is located to the south of SLC-40 where the booster will lift off, at a point where the Cape juts most prominently into the Atlantic ocean.

Although there has been no official confirmation, the tweet from Musk would seem to indicate that SpaceX has indeed received the necessary approvals from both the FAA and the Air Force for the landing attempt.

Weather should not be a factor, with predictions calling for a 90% chance of favorable conditions.

Livestream coverage will begin at 8:00 PM ET.

This story will be updated as the countdown unfolds.

Posted in: SpaceX

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2 Comments on "Update: SpaceX Shifts Launch to Monday to Maximize Landing Chances"

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  1. jim fackert says:

    Livestream and spacex websites say monday eveving?!?

  2. Sunday night’s launch scrubbed due to launch /landing conditions. Trying again tomorrow night.

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