by Upi Staff
Cape Canaveral, Fla. (UPI) Feb 28, 2016
SpaceX, in its third attempt, plans to launch a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station between 6:45 p.m. and 8:20 p.m. Sunday.
SES, a Luxembourg-based company, tweeted earlier Sunday the launch's scheduled date and time. It also announced the take-off on its official web site.
An earlier forecast issued by the Air Force's 45th Weather Squadron showed near-perfect conditions for the launch, Florida Today reported. The company plans to use Monday as a backup date, if the mission has to be scrubbed a third time.
The weather is also expected to be good Monday with a 90 percent chance of acceptable conditions.
SES attempted launches Feb. 24 and 25, but scrubbed both citing challenges to keeping the two-stage rocket's liquid oxygen supply at cold enough temperatures.
The rocket, once launched successfully, will deliver SES-9, a commercial communications satellite for SES, to a Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO), the company said. SES provides satellite-enabled communications services to internet providers, brodcasters, mobile and fixed operators and to business and government agencies.
SES says the satellite should deploy within 30 minutes of launch.
The satellite company owns and operates a fleet of over 50 geostationary satellites complemented by a network of teleports and offices around the globe, according to its web site. The company says that "far-reaching infrastructure enables it to reach 99% of the world's population."
The goal of the mission is to propel a Boeing-built SES-9 satellite -- delivering television and high-speed broadband to the Asia-Pacific region -- to a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) far above the equator.
Then, SpaceX will try again to land the tall part of its rocket, known as the first stage, on a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean.
"Following stage separation, the first stage of the Falcon 9 will attempt an experimental landing on the 'Of Course I Still Love You' droneship," SpaceX said.
"Given this mission's unique GTO profile, a successful landing is not expected."
SpaceX successfully landed its Falcon 9 on solid ground last year, but numerous attempts at landing on barges in the Atlantic and Pacific have failed.
Headed by Internet entrepreneur Elon Musk, who also runs Tesla Motors, the company is working to hone the techniques of recycling rockets, instead of jettisoning their costly components after each launch.
The aim is to make launches more affordable and environmentally friendly.
The launch is commissioned by SES, a Luxembourg-based company that specializes in worldwide satellite communications.
Launch Pad at Space-Travel.com
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