Liftoff of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket powered by a reused first stage booster from Florida’s Space Coast has been pushed back to Friday at 10:36 a.m. EST (1536 GMT) to allow technicians to complete inspections on the rocket’s second stage fuel system, the company said. The Falcon 9 will blast off from the Complex 40 launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station with more than two tons of supplies and experiments for the International Space Station.
Ready to double its Florida launch capacity with two pads, SpaceX is preparing to loft a reused robotic cargo ship toward the International Space Station Wednesday with a recycled Falcon 9 booster, debuting a rebuilt launch complex knocked offline more than a year ago in a fiery blast during pre-flight testing.
In a reshuffling of SpaceX’s launch schedule, a Falcon 9 rocket is set for liftoff no earlier than Dec. 8 on a mission to deliver several tons of supplies and experiments to the International Space Station and return to service a Cape Canaveral launch pad damaged in a catastrophic rocket explosion last year.
Japan’s sixth HTV supply ship departed the International Space Station on Friday and headed for a destructive re-entry over the South Pacific with trash and disused batteries from the research lab, but engineers will first use the spacecraft for a pioneering experiment to investigate a new way to remove space junk from orbit.