- SpaceX is launching a military satellite for South Korea today, and it will be live streaming the entire event.
- SpaceX is a little bit behind schedule at the moment, and today’s launch was originally slated for last week.
- Weather and mechanical issues have pushed back several SpaceX launches in recent weeks.
It’s been a bit of a rough month for SpaceX. The private spaceflight company, which rarely deals with delays aside from those caused by weather, has been forced to push back a bunch of its missions for a variety of reasons. One of those missions is the ANASIS-II satellite launch, which was originally slated for July 14th but had to be pushed back to ensure everything was ready to go.
Now, the mission has a nice long launch window today, so chances are good that we’ll finally see the Falcon 9 deliver the South Korean satellite into orbit today. The window opens at 5:00 p.m. EDT and will remain open for nearly four full hours. You can watch the launch live right here.
Today’s launch — assuming it goes off without a hitch — is extremely special for SpaceX. The company will be using the same Falcon 9 booster that sent astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to space on the Crew Dragon spacecraft for NASA. The launch will be a record-breaker for SpaceX as the most rapid turnaround time for any orbital-class rocket, beating NASA’s own Space Shuttle record.
SpaceX offers the details on the mission:
SpaceX is targeting Monday, July 20 for Falcon 9’s launch of the ANASIS-II mission, which will lift off from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The primary launch window opens at 5:00 p.m. EDT, or 21:00 UTC, and closes at 8:55 p.m. EDT, or 00:55 UTC on July 21.
Falcon 9’s first stage previously launched Crew Dragon to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on board. Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Just Read the Instructions” droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. The ANASIS-II spacecraft will deploy about 32 minutes after liftoff.
As always, SpaceX will be providing a live stream of the launch for us all to enjoy. The live stream is scheduled to start at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time, but could be pushed back if the weather looks like it’s not immediately cooperating. In any case, the company will have a nice wide launch window to wait for conditions to clear up, if they’re not ideal, and the odds of a launch today look very good.
After today’s launch, SpaceX will still have to play a bit of catch-up with its schedule, sending another satellite into space for client BlackSky and delivering another couple of loads of its own Starlink satellites into orbit.