This week's chilly Space Coast weather will see a burst of warmth on Wednesday when a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasts off from Cape Canaveral on a supply run to the International Space Station. But the need for more ground-system checks forced SpaceX to push the launch to Friday at 10:35 a.m. EST (1535 GMT).
SpaceX has again pushed back the launch of a used Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule filled with NASA cargo - this time to no earlier than Friday (Dec. 13) - for extra inspections and cleaning after engineers detected particles in the booster's second-stage fuel system. Falcon 9 launches from Florida were based from nearby pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center once SpaceX cleared the rocket to resume flying early this year.
This launch-when it eventually takes place-will be the 13th commercial ISS resupply mission from SpaceX.
Moving forward, SLC-40 will launch Falcon 9 missions, with a focus on increasing flight rates for commercial customers with reused boosters.
This cargo flight is carrying almost 2,200 kg of cargo, supplies and science experiments to the International Space Station, where it is expected to arrive for berthing on Friday, December 15. The company has landed 19 Falcon 9 boosters as part of its ongoing reusable rocket program to reduce the cost of spaceflight.
The Dragon spacecraft will be packed with almost 4,900 pounds of supplies and dozens of science experiments for the crew, including at least one study with ties to Florida - Made In Space Fiber Optics, which will analyze fiber optic filaments in microgravity and could lead to improved optical quality.
SpaceX launch from Cape Canaveral delayed to no earlier than Friday
The fresh residents, led by Soyuz commander Anton Shkaplerov, will fly to the station inside the Russian Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft.
The Dragon CRS-13 capsule making this flight is the same capsule that flew as CRS-6, which launched to the ISS back on April 14, 2015.
The resupply mission will send the Dragon spacecraft with 4,800 pounds of cargo including science research to the International Space Station.
The first stage booster landing attempt may mean a sonic boom will be heard in Brevard, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia counties.
"We'll be anxious, but I wouldn't say a higher level of anxiety for this reflown booster than for a new booster", he said.