Falcon 9 launch with Telstar 18 VANTAGE postponed 24 hours
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The weekend flight of a Falcon 9 with Telstar 18 VANTAGE has slipped 24 hours. The commercial communications satellite is ultimately bound for a geostationary orbit to serve markets in the Asia-Pacific region.
“Now targeting September 9 launch of Telstar 18 VANTAGE from Pad 40 in Florida,” SpaceX announced via its official Twitter account. “Rocket and payload are healthy; additional time will be used to complete pre-flight checkouts.”
SpaceX will have four hours to get the Block 5 Falcon 9 and its 15,500-pound (7,000-kilogram) payload off the ground at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 when the launch window opens at 11:28 p.m. EDT (03:28 GMT Sept. 10).
As of Sept. 7, the weather for the Sunday-night attempt is expected to have a 40 percent chance of violating launch constraints. The 45th Weather Squadron said the primary concerns will be thick and cumulus clouds. Should a 24-hour scrub occur, weather concerns are expected to remain the same on Monday night.
Derek Richardson has a degree in mass media, with an emphasis in contemporary journalism, from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. While at Washburn, he was the managing editor of the student run newspaper, the Washburn Review. He also has a blog about the International Space Station, called Orbital Velocity. He met with members of the SpaceFlight Insider team during the flight of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 rocket with the MUOS-4 satellite. Richardson joined our team shortly thereafter. His passion for space ignited when he watched Space Shuttle Discovery launch into space Oct. 29, 1998. Today, this fervor has accelerated toward orbit and shows no signs of slowing down. After dabbling in math and engineering courses in college, he soon realized his true calling was communicating to others about space. Since joining SpaceFlight Insider in 2015, Richardson has worked to increase the quality of our content, eventually becoming our managing editor. @TheSpaceWriter