SpaceX had been set to launch a Falcon 9 rocket on a satellite deployment mission on the evening of Thursday, October 6, but the launch was called off at the last minute by a helium leak. Now, the launch will instead go ahead tonight, Saturday, October 8.
The rocket will carry two telecommunications satellites for the company Intelsat called Galaxy 33 and Galaxy 34, and will launch from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
The previous launch attempt on Thursday had to be called off just 30 seconds before liftoff, and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk later announced on Twitter that the issue was a small helium leak. “Tiny helium leak (just barely triggered abort), but we take no risks with customer satellites,” he wrote. “Standing down to investigate.” The company then confirmed that both the rocket and the two satellites were well and would be ready for launch today.
It has become rare these days for SpaceX launches to be called off due to technical issues, as the company has generally set up a very smooth system for deploying payloads. But issues can still occur with any complex technology, even following a success like this week’s launching of four astronauts to the International Space Station using a Falcon 9.
SpaceX will be livestreaming the launch for the G-33/G-34 mission, so you’ll be able to watch along at home. The launch window for the mission is 70 minutes long, and it opens at 7:05 p.m. ET (4:05 p.m. PT). You’ll be able to watch the final preparations before launch, the liftoff, then the separation of the stages, and be notified of the eventual deployment of the satellites. There will also be the always exciting catching of the rocket’s first stage booster, which will come into land on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas which will be waiting in the Atlantic Ocean.
To watch the livestream, you can either head to SpaceX’s YouTube channel or use the video which is embedded near the top of this page. The livestream begins around 15 minutes before launch, so that will be around 6:50 p.m. ET (3:50 p.m. PT) today, Saturday, October 8.
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