SpaceX launch of Falcon 9 with Eutelsat 115 slips to NET March 1
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — California-based Space Exploration Technologies, more commonly known as “SpaceX”, has opted to push back the launch date for the flight of the Eutelsat 115 (Satmex 7) and ABS 3A satellites from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40). The mission, originally scheduled to take place on February 28, is now slated to occur no-earlier-than March 1 at 10:49 p.m.EST (0349 GMT). SpaceX will have a 45 minute window in which to get the rocket and its precious cargo off the pad – and into the sky.
The payload for this mission, the ABS 3A and Eutelsat 115 spacecraft are communications satellites and were constructed by aerospace giant Boeing’s Satellite Systems and are designed to provide services throughout the Americas. ABS 3A will support VSAT services, TV distribution, IP, cellular and maritime services.
This version of the company’s Falcon 9 v1.1 boosters — with its extended fuel tanks and nine Merlin 1D engines — arranged in the “Octaweb” configuration, has been in service since 2013, and has greatly increased SpaceX’s capabilities.
SpaceX has a pretty busy launch manifest for 2015, with 15 additional missions scheduled to take place throughout the course of this year. Past experience suggests that this schedule is unlikely to take place. Since the Falcon 9 first took to the skies in 2010, it has only been launched a total of 15 times.
As noted, 2015 could be a banner year for SpaceX, with the company planning on resuming launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base’s Space Launch Complex 4E in California. SpaceX also has two abort tests for the firm’s Dragon spacecraft and the first flight of the Heavy version of the Falcon booster.
Jason Rhian spent several years honing his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He has provided content for outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology, Space.com, The Mars Society and Universe Today.