Saturday, February 28, 2015

SpaceX / Eutelsat Launch This Sunday ~

I almost missed this one. SpaceX's next launch is scheduled for this weekend: 

Sunday, March 1, 10:50 pm EST (7:50 pm PST, 4:50 am March 2 CET) from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral. SpaceX and NASA TV will have live coverage, starting an hour before the launch. has countdown coverage available now. The launch window is 42 minutes and weather conditions are forecast as 70% favorable. In case of a scrub, another launch window is available on Monday, March 2.

During this mission, SpaceX will not attempt to land Falcon 9's upper stage on a drone ship in the Atlantic. The Falcon 9 v1.1 used for this launch does not have the required grid fins and landing legs. The next Falcon 9 landing attempt is scheduled for April as part of the CRS-6 mission, SpaceX's sixth commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station.

Photo credit: SpaceX

ABS/Eutelsat will launch on a Falcon 9 v1.1, which has extended fuel tanks and 9 Merlin engines arranged in SpaceX's Octaweb configuration. Falcon 9 v.1.1 first launched in 2013.

Photo credit: Boeing

The ABS-3A and Eutelsat 115 West B spacecraft are mated at Boeing in preparation for launch. These satellites are the first ever satellites to enter service with an all-electric propulsion system. Boeing chose electric over chemical propulsion to increase payload performance and reduce launch costs. Both satellites where designed to improve coverage and a variety of services in North and South America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

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