Weather conditions around Cape Canaveral will be mostly favorable for Sunday’s second launch attempt of a Falcon 9 rocket, according to the Space Force’s latest forecast.
Conditions at Launch Complex 40 were calculated at 60% “go” for the 11:21 a.m. liftoff target, which marks the opening of a two-hour window if SpaceX teams need extra time. The possibility of lingering cumulus clouds was noted as the main concern.
“The front in the Gulf is forecast to wash out across north Florida on Sunday, leaving unsettled conditions across the spaceport for a late Sunday morning launch attempt,” the 45th Weather Squadron said Saturday. “The primary concern will be cumulus clouds associated with showers in the vicinity of the spaceport.”
After liftoff, the first stage booster will attempt an autonomous landing on the Just Read the Instructions drone ship east of Florida.
SpaceX previously tried to launch this mission, labeled SXM-7, Friday morning but had to scrub due to issues with ground systems at LC-40. Launch engineers quickly set up for a 48-hour turnaround, indicating the fault wasn’t too severe in nature.
Secured in Falcon 9’s payload fairing is a new, Maxar-built spacecraft for SiriusXM’s constellation designed to beam audio back down to Earth. It will replace a more than 10-year-old model currently on orbit.
SpaceX is also prepping for its – and the Space Coast’s – last launch of the year, currently slated for sometime between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Dec. 17. A Falcon 9 rocket will boost the National Reconnaissance Office’s NROL-108 payload from pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center.
For the latest, visit floridatoday.com/launchschedule.
Launch Sunday, Dec. 13
Visit floridatoday.com/space at 10 a.m. Sunday to watch this mission live.