In just a few hours, SpaceX will launch its sixth Falcon 9 rocket this year. However, this one could be one of the most impressive and challenging. The Elon-Musk-founded company will send a communications satellite into orbit for Inmarsat. You can watch the livestream in the video below:
This particular satellite is one of the heaviest SpaceX has put into the sky. Another peculiarity is that SpaceX won’t recover this Falcon 9 after takeoff. This is because the weight of the satellite makes this the heaviest probe ever lifted by the SpaceX rockets. The Inmarsat-5 F4 (or I5F4) comes in at roughly 13,500 lbs (6,123 kg). It’s also going to travel 22,000 miles (35,727 km) above the Earth’s surface. It’ll need all the propellant it can get to have a successful launch. There won’t be much propellant left (if any) for a successful landing.
It certainly has a lot to prove with this high-stakes launch. It keeps SpaceX on track with its ideal of two launches every month of 2017. A successful launch today bodes well for the aggressive schedule in 2019.
This launch should have taken place late last month. However, due to weather, the launch was postponed for today. If for any reason the launch tonight gets postponed, the company noted it will take place tomorrow at 7:21 PM ET. It will launch from pad 39A of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.