SpaceX just can’t catch a break. It was supposed to shuttle the SES-9 satellite to geostationary orbit late last month but multiple setbacks—low thrust alarms, high altitude winds—have continued to push the launch back. Today’s attempt, which is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. EST, will be number five.
It’s not like you can just launch rockets all willy-nilly. The business is very delicate—and expensive—so taking any sort of chance can lead to disaster. And if it’s not something going wrong on the launchpad, there always the possibility of a stray tugboat entering water it’s not supposed to, as was the with SpaceX’s third attempt last Sunday.
The main goal, as mentioned, is to shuttle the SES-9 communications satellite into geostationary orbit. Once that’s achieved, SpaceX will attempt to land its Falcon 9 rocket on a floating barge named “Of Course I Still Love You,” which is so fitting considering the company expects the landing to end in explosions.
We’re hopeful a launch will actually happen tonight, but given the many setbacks over the past week, we know that anything can happen. You can watch the whole thing (maybe) unfold live.