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SpaceX launch of ‘flight proven’ Falcon 9 from KSC

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  • SpaceX launches Falcon 9 from KSC, lands at Cape

    SpaceX launches Falcon 9 from KSC, lands at Cape

  • SpaceX launches satellite size of a double-decker bus

    SpaceX launches satellite size of a double-decker bus

  • SpaceX launches Falcon 9 from KSC, nails landing

    SpaceX launches Falcon 9 from KSC, nails landing

  • Atlas V rocket blasts off on mission with Cygnus spacecraft

    Atlas V rocket blasts off on mission with Cygnus spacecraft

  • SpaceX launches, lands 'flight proven' Falcon 9

    SpaceX launches, lands ‘flight proven’ Falcon 9

  • Delta IV rocket launches from Cape Canaveral

    Delta IV rocket launches from Cape Canaveral

  • SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Kennedy Space Center

    SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Kennedy Space Center

  • Falcon 9 blasts off from KSC, lands at Cape

    Falcon 9 blasts off from KSC, lands at Cape

  • Atlas V rocket blasts off with missile detection satellite

    Atlas V rocket blasts off with missile detection satellite

The planned Monday afternoon launch of a Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center with a commercial communications satellite has been delayed, SpaceX said on Sunday.

The company tweeted that technical issues with a valve forced teams to delay the launch from pad 39A to no earlier than Friday with a second opportunity on Saturday. 

“Standing down on BulgariaSat-1 to replace a fairing valve,” the tweet read.

Air Force weather forecasters predicted questionable conditions during the two-hour launch window that opened at 2:10 p.m., citing cloud and storm-related concerns. Conditions were 40 percent “go” for the Monday launch attempt.

SpaceX did not offer specifics on a new launch time.

[SpaceX bets the house to become satellite internet provider]

[SpaceX booster may be displayed near Port Canaveral, Air Force Station]

The company has been contracted to launch BulgariaSat-1, the country’s first communications satellite designed to transmit television programming to the Balkans and southeastern Europe.

The launch will mark SpaceX’s second attempt to launch and land a previously flown, or “flight proven,” Falcon 9 first stage. It was recovered from a January launch of 10 Iridium NEXT satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. CEO Elon Musk sees the full-circle reusability as crucial to lowering launch costs and increasing access to space.

Due to fuel constraints, the first stage of the rocket will not land back at Cape Canaveral – instead, it will target a soft landing on the “Of Course I Still Love You” drone ship stationed a few hundred miles off the coast of Florida.

SpaceX is also targeting Sunday for the launch of more Iridium NEXT satellites from Vandenberg.

“Iridium targeted for 6/25 – could be a weekend doubleheader,” the company said via Twitter.

Contact Emre Kelly at aekelly@floridatoday.com or 321-242-3715. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook at @EmreKelly.

 

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