Amid a salvo of orbital missions preparing to launch from the American east coast, a SpaceX Falcon 9 is set to launch the fourth GPS III satellite for the United States Space Force. Liftoff is scheduled for 9:43 PM EDT on Friday, October 2 (01:43 UTC on October 3), the opening of a 15 minute window.
(Lead photo via Stephen Marr for NSF)
The 45th Weather Squadron of the United States Air Force’s 45th Space Wing at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida predicts a 70% chance of acceptable weather for launch. The forecast deteriorates to a 20% chance of favorable weather for the backup launch opportunity on Saturday evening.
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The mission will launch from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Following the initial ascent, the Falcon 9 first stage will attempt a propulsive landing on Just Read the Instructions, one of SpaceX’s Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ships stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. SpaceX’s pair of fairing recovery ships, GO Ms. Chief and GO Ms. Tree, are also positioned downrange.
The SpaceX recovery fleet has been responding to several shuffles of ...