For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM
CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FIRCE STATION, FL – A twice recycled SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket stands poised erect for liftoff this evening Monday, Dec. 16 under beautifully clear skies carrying the Boeing-built JCSAT-18/Kacific-1 broadband internet comsat serving millions in Japan and the Asia-Pacific region – as the opening salvo of a double-barreled series of blastoffs next week on the Florida Space Coast that concludes with the historic first blastoff of Boeing’s Starliner astronaut ferryship on Friday, Dec. 20
The rocket was rolled put to the pad and raised at pad 40 early this afternoon just hours before planned liftoff.
The weather outlook is currently predicted to be excellent with a 90% chance of acceptable weather conditions forecast by Air Force meteorologists.
SpaceX is now targeting liftoff of the Falcon 9 rocket at 7:10 p.m. EST Monday (0010 GMT Tuesday) with JCSAT-18/Kacific-1 broadband internet comsat from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida for Tokyo based SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation and Kacific Broadband Satellites Group.
Enjoy our Space UpClose photos directly from pad 40.
You can watch the live broadcast at SpaceX staring about 15 minutes before liftoff:
Watch for a full report post launch.
The launch window for the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket opens at 7:10 p.m. EST Monday (0010 GMT Tuesday) with JCSAT-18/Kacific-1 broadband internet comsat from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The window extends 88 minutes until 8:38 p.m. EST (0138 GMT Tuesday).
The weather is currently predicted to be excellent with a 90% chance of acceptable weather conditions forecast by Air Force meteorologists.
This recycled Falcon 9 previously supported the CRS-17 and CRS-18 missions involving the SpaceX Dragon on cargo resupply missions for NASA to the International Space Station (ISS).
The launch will be the 13th of the year for SpaceX coming just 11 days after launch of the CRS-19 mission.
SpaceX will attempt to recover and soft land the Falcon 9 first stage on the ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ (OCISLY) droneship about 8 minutes after liftoff.
SpaceX will also expected to attempt to recover the payload fairings with their fairing catching ships GO MS TREE and GO MS CHIEF about 45 minutes after liftoff.
The JCSAT-18/Kacific-1 spacecraft satellite is based on the Boeing 702 satellite platform and will expand communication capabilities for mobile telephone, data and internet users throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Watch my commentary at WFTV ABC TV News Orlando and Fox 35 TV News Orlando
Ken Kremer/Space UpClose launch commentary on Fox 35 News Orlando on Dec. 16, 2019
Watch Ken’s continuing reports onsite for live reporting of the upcoming Starliner OFT mission & SpaceX JCSAT launch at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com
Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics.
Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events
Ken’s upcoming outreach events:
Dec 17/18/19: 7 PM, Quality Inn Kennedy Space Center, Titusville, FL. “Boeing Starliner Launches to ISS & SpaceX JCSAT launch.” Free. In hotel lobby. Photos for sale