by Chris Tobias
It’s a pretty safe bet SpaceX will launch the first rocket of the month of June.
A Falcon 9 will head out to the black in the early morning hours of June 1 to deliver the SES-12 satellite into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO). Liftoff is scheduled for 12:29am EDT (4:29 UTC) from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. SES-12 is designed to improve communication and connectivity in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions.
The Falcon 9 booster for this mission is flight-proven, having previously flown the OTV-5 mission that carried the Air Force’s top secret mini-shuttle, the X-37B, into orbit. There are no plans for the first stage of the Falcon 9 to land during this mission, however SpaceX does plan to retrieve the fairings from the ocean as they have on several of their more recent missions. (GO Pursuit, SpaceX’s Atlantic “fairing hunter” boat, was observed heading out to sea May 29.)
Current forecasts show that the weather is only 40% favorable for the primary launch date, though it increases to 60% favorable 24 hours later for the backup launch date.
For those night owls who want to watch the mission, SpaceX’s live webcast of the launch will begin approximately 20 minutes before liftoff at spacex.com and on the company’s YouTube channel.
Peace, love and rockets…
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