by Jeff Cunningham
SpaceX is scheduled to launch its 12th Falcon 9 rocket of the year this Thursday, August 24 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
There is a 44-minute launch window for Thursday’s launch, with liftoff scheduled for 2:50 p.m. EDT (1850 GMT). It will be the fifth launch of a Falcon 9 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, and the 40th overall.
The mission is to deploy Formosat-5, a Taiwanese satellite designed to test the country’s aerospace manufacturing capability and collect both color and black-and-white imagery of Earth.
Elon Musk and company will use a brand new Falcon 9 booster for this mission, which will require only a fraction of its lift capability to carry Formosat-5 into orbit. SpaceX will recover the first stage of this particular Falcon 9 in the Pacific Ocean on the drone ship Just Read The Instructions, after which it will be refurbished and reused.