Weather forecasts look favorable for Saturday's mission to blast off during its three-hour launch window between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. PT (9 a.m.to noon ET). But it still has one more launch planned to wrap up 2020.
SpaceX is expected to launch its Falcon 9 rocket Friday, Dec. 17, carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office. The upper stage liquid oxygen tank had an unusually high pressure reading that the company would work to solve.More news: India crosses 10 million Covid-19 cases as vaccine approval pending
The event will be broadcast live online and free of charge.
Watch the launch in the player above.
We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. The mission will carry a spy satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), and will include a recovery attempt for the first-stage booster used on the Falcon 9 vehicle. SpaceX launches at sea have been introduced to allow rocket boosters that did not have enough fuel remaining on board to bring them back to Earth - meaning these NRO mission parameters allow for a " return to dispatcher " flight back home. If that's the case today, the stream above should begin at around 8:45 AM EST (15 minutes prior to the opening of the window).More news: Netflix Is Working on an Audio Only Mode on Its Android App
The NRO hinted in a cryptic tweet this week the satellite will serve to protect American interests.
"Gorillas are quiet animals, but can be fierce when needed", the NRO said. "Like the gorilla, our #NROL108 mission is constantly vigilant and ready to defend its own".
Thursday's launch marks the 31st day of the year for Space Beach.More news: 624 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C., 11 more deaths
"The primary weather concern for an attempt Saturday is cumulus clouds associated with these coastal showers".