SpaceX is scheduled to launch a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Spanish satellite shortly after midnight Tuesday from Cape Canaveral, Florida. However, SpaceX was forced to scrap that launch attempt to do extra testing on the rocket's nose cone, or payload fairing.
If SpaceX gets the all clear for launch tomorrow, the satellite delivery will mark the 50th flight mission for the company's signature reusable rocket.
SpaceX then was unproven startup regarded with skepticism by much of the industry - especially CEO Elon Musk's brash promises to land and reuse rockets.
"Very proud of the SpaceX team!"
The engines shut down and the first stage fell away about two-and-a-half minutes after launch and the flight continued on the power of the second stage's single Merlin engine. In the hyperconnected world in which we live, access to quality broadband is an essential need for economic, social and even personal development, and this satellite fulfils this need in places other technologies can not reach.
That's because SpaceX's booster recovery ship remained in Port Canaveral due to rough seas, with waves topping 24 feet in the landing zone.
It included the Falcon 9's largest ever payload, the Hispasat 30W-6 communications satellite, which is "almost the size of a city bus". Plus it's going to a high orbit about 22,000 miles (around 35,700 kilometers) above Earth known as geostationary orbit. The satellites would be a part of a network (which the company refers to as a constellation) called Iridium NEXT in low-Earth orbit, which once finished, would provide coverage over the entirety of the planet's surface.
The satellite, built by Space Systems Loral, is equipped with 40 Ku-band transponders, seven Ka beams and 10 C-band transponders. It will offer better services, including the distribution of audiovisual content in Latin America, enabling access for over 50 million users through their audiovisual distribution platforms.
PaceX's future in the skies was guaranteed in 2006 by NASA, when the United States space agency signed an International Space Station resupply mission with SpaceX. Other upcoming launch missions, as well as those already completed can be found here.
The entire launch today will be streamed live online, on the official SpaceX YouTube channel.