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SpaceX Delays Launch Of Falcon 9 Due To Bad Weather Conditions

14 March 2017, 7:25 am EDT By Samantha Dean Tech Times
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SpaceX has delayed the launch of the Falcon 9 rocket carrying the EchoStar XXIII satellite due to poor weather conditions. The EchoStar XXIII is a commercial satellite, weighing about 12,500 pounds.  ( NASA | Getty Images )

SpaceX has delayed the launch of Falcon 9 due to severe weather conditions.

The Falcon 9 carrying the EchoStar XXIII, was supposed to be launched from the historic Launch Complex 39A, in NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Tuesday, March 14, but weather disruptions have led to a two-day delay.

The Delay

The EchoStar XXIII , which was supposed to be launched on March 14 at 1:34 a.m. ET, has been met with cloudy skies accompanied by strong winds, which led to the delay in the launch of the EchoStar XXIII satellite.

Scientists at the Patrick Air Force Base predicted the chances of favorable conditions were about 40 percent prior to the scheduled launch.

The launch of Falcon 9 has now been rescheduled to March 16 at 1:35 a.m. ET, with a considerably better forecast as predicted by the Air Force's 45th Weather Squadron.

Here is the official announcement from SpaceX, regarding the delay.

The EchoStar XXIII And Falcon 9

EchoStar XXIII is a commercial communications satellite which is the payload that will be housed in the Falcon 9 rocket. It will be placed in a high orbit above the Earth to provide broadcast services to Brazil.

EchoStar XXIII is a 12,500-pound satellite known to deliver television programming to Brazil, located around 22,300 miles above the equator at 45 degrees West Longitude. These two factors further point to the fact that the Falcon 9 will require a lot of fuel for the launch of the satellite.

This is perhaps why the rocket will not make a landing after deploying the satellite, as scientists claim that there will not be enough fuel left for the return journey.

The EchoStar XXIII is a Ku-band broadcast satellite service (BSS), containing four main reflectors and several sub reflectors, supporting the various other mission profiles.

The initial launch of the satellite will be at 45 degrees west, and the End of Life (EOL) power of the EchoStar XXIII will be 20 kilowatts.

With its headquarters located in Englewood, Colorado, EchoStar handles the world's fourth largest commercial geosynchronous fleet with 25 satellites. The EchoStar XXIII launch will be one of the last expandable launches from SpaceX.

Even though this delay has altered the schedule of the launch of the Falcon 9 along with the EchoStar XXIII satellite, it is only a matter of time now. SpaceX will be hoping for a smooth launch and better weather conditions.

SpaceX next plans to launch one of the recovered boosters in a satellite delivery mission for SES.

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