SpaceX has delayed the launch of the SES 12 communications satellite until shortly after midnight Friday at Cape Canaveral, allowing teams additional time to complete pre-launch vehicle checks and wait for improved weather conditions. The launch, which was previously set for Thursday, is expected around 12:29 a.m. EDT (0429 GMT) Friday.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off Tuesday with five communications satellites for Iridium’s commercial voice, data relay, and tracking network, and a pair of U.S.-German research craft to probe Earth’s climate and water cycle. Launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, occurred at 12:47 p.m. PDT (3:47 p.m. EDT; 1947 GMT).
A pair of European-built, NASA-backed research satellites set for launch Tuesday from California will extend 15 years of global gravity field measurements collected by the GRACE mission before it ended last year, supplying scientists with data to help track the melting of Earth’s ice sheets and chart the impacts of floods and droughts.