Wednesday, 26 July, 2017

SpaceX to launch from Space Coast next week

The Falcon 9 rocket fires its engines for a hold-down test Thursday. Credit SpaceX The Falcon 9 rocket fires its engines for a hold-down test Thursday. Credit SpaceX
Theresa Hayes | 13 March, 2017, 04:38

The Falcon 9 rocket fires its engines for a hold-down test Thursday.

The Falcon 9 rocket will be returned to the hangar at the historic launch pad to attach it to the EchoStar 23 spacecraft, a commercial TV broadcast satellite that will conduct video programming to consumers in Brazil.

Cape Canaveral-based space news site Space Flight Now caught the event on camera and posted the wide-angle footage Friday on its official site and social media page where it's viewable in 4k resolution.

The satellite's launch site at Pad 39A is located just north of SpaceX's other Florida pad at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

If everything goes as planned, the launch window will open at 1:34 a.m. EDT (05:34 GMT).

The Falcon 9 is SpaceX's flagship two-stage rocket, meant for transporting satellites and the Dragon spacecraft into orbit.

The company resumed launches January 14 on a mission from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California with 10 next-generation communications satellites for Iridium. Targeting EchoStar XXIII launch from @NASA's Kennedy Space Center on March 14, early morning EDT. Echostar 23 is set to be sent into a geostationary transfer orbit.

The Space Launch Complex 40 was where SpaceX initially launched its Falcon 9 rockets, but it remains out of service due to damages caused by the September 1 explosion.

Gwynne Shotwell, president and CEO of rocket company SpaceX told delegates to the Satellite 2017 show in Washington that her company will likely launch six "pre-flown" rockets this year.

Tuesday's predawn launch will be the third Falcon 9 flight of the year, and the second at pad 39A.

It will put the EchoStar 23 communications satellite into orbit, and because the payload is so heavy, the rocket's first stage will not be recovered, as the rocket needs as much fuel as possible to accomplish its mission.