Watch SpaceX launch a communications satellite live right here

Next Story

When even due diligence can be biased

Update 7:37 PM EDT: SpaceX aborted the countdown at T-9 seconds. More info about the cause of the abort, and whether that’s a wash for today’s launch, should be available shortly.

Update 7:41 PM EDT: SpaceX has confirmed that the computer triggered an abort at T-10 seconds because something wasn’t within limits. They still aren’t sure what caused the computer to trigger the automated abort, but are investigated and will share more when they determine the specific cause. Tomorrow at roughly the same time is the earliest window, but the cause will determine whether they can make that window.

SpaceX is launching a Falcon 9 rocket with a satellite from client Intelsat aboard, with a launch window opening at 7:37 PM EDT (4:37 PM PDT). The satellite, Intelsat 35e, will be delivered to geostationary transfer orbit after launching from Kennedy’s LC-39A, with a target deployment window of around half an hour after launch.

SpaceX’s launch window lasts 58 minutes, so if something prevents an immediate launch there will be nearly an hour to reset. If that window doesn’t work, because of weather, for instance, a backup window is set for Monday, July 3 beginning at 7:37 PM EDT.

The rocket used for this mission won’t be recovered, since SpaceX’s mission requirements in this instance mean it can’t attempt to land the Falcon 9 first stage after its use. Typically this happens when the payload for the mission exceeds a certain weight, since at higher weights the Falcon 9 must be configured in such a way that means it will be fully expended during launch operations.

This satellite is Intelsat’s next-gen high-throughput satellite design, which operates in C- and Ku-frequency network bands, and which is used for delivering mobility and broadband services where weather patterns result in specific band requirements. Intelsat 35e will service customers in the Caribbean, as well as Africa and trans-European service to Africa.

The launch webcast above should begin roughly 15 minutes prior to liftoff, so join us right back here at approximately 7:22 PM EDT to tune in.