In Brief

Bad Weather Delays SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch

SpaceX Falcon 9 and EchoStar 23 on the Pad
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the EchoStar 23 communications satellite sits atop Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The rocket will launch early on March 16, 2017. (Image credit: SpaceX)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Cloudy skies and high winds in Florida early Tuesday (March 14) forced SpaceX to delay the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying the EchoStar 23 communications satellite, the company said.

SpaceX’s next opportunity to fly will be at 1:35 a.m. EDT (0535 GMT) on Thursday (March 16).

The flight will be SpaceX’s second from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A, which previously was used to launch NASA’s space shuttles and Saturn V moon rockets.

SpaceX inaugurated the pad on Feb. 19 with a cargo run to the International Space Station.

Putting the EchoStar 23 satellite, which weighs about 6 tons, into its intended high-altitude orbit will not leave the Falcon 9 first stage with enough fuel to attempt a landing, SpaceX representatives said.

The company, which so far has recovered eight flown boosters, plans to re-launch the first of those later this month on a satellite delivery mission for Luxembourg-based SES.

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Irene Klotz
Contributing Writer

Irene Klotz is a founding member and long-time contributor to She concurrently spent 25 years as a wire service reporter and freelance writer, specializing in space exploration, planetary science, astronomy and the search for life beyond Earth. A graduate of Northwestern University, Irene currently serves as Space Editor for Aviation Week & Space Technology.