SpaceX delivery delayed few days; 1st reused rocket for NASA

ZUMA MISSION | SpaceX

First built in the 1960s for the Air Force's Titan rocket plans, Complex 40 hosted its last Titan 4 launch in 2005.

NASA said the private rocket company requested the one-day delay so it could have more time for prelaunch ground systems checks.

According toSpaceX, the first stage of the rocket will return to Cape Canaveral for refurbishment and use on a future flight.

The first stage booster landing attempt may mean a sonic boom will be heard in Brevard, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia counties.

Shireman said launch opportunities could open back up for SpaceX around December 25, but it's not clear if SpaceX or NASA would attempt to launch the mission on Christmas Day. Eastern. Forecasts projected an 80 percent chance of acceptable weather for the launch, with winds the primary concern.

Wednesday's planned mission is SpaceX's 13th trip to supply the space station in a series of cargo runs that began in October 2012.

The Falcon 9 launcher awaiting liftoff from pad 40 will be powered by a reused first stage booster, on the first flight in which NASA has agreed to put its cargo on a recycled commercial rocket. The Falcon 9 booster rocket that will propel CRS-13 into orbit is the same booster that was used for the CRS-11 launch, back on June 3, 2017.

Muratore said he believes SpaceX is the first company to bring three launch pads online in a single year.

Some risks, he said, are actually less with a reflown booster, while some are a little greater.

The launch will be the 15th flight of a Dragon capsule, 14th mission to the ISS and the 13th with actual cargo. That includes its nine Merlin main engines. Despite their tiny size, those fragments of debris can cause serious damage to the space station-and unlike larger pieces, they can't be tracked from Earth.

A catastrophic rocket explosion at pad 40 on September 1, 2016, left the launch complex unusable, and it took SpaceX more than a year to clean up, fix and upgrade the facility. "The launch will then happen about a few weeks after that", she said. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook at @EmreKelly. Monday morning's press briefing will be replayed at 8:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday, and the science briefing will be replaced at 9:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday, prior to the live launch coverage.

Join FloridaToday.com/Space at 10 a.m. Wednesday for countdown chat and updates, including streaming of NASA's launch webcast.

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