NASA has scrubbed its launch of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft that was set to launch on the Falcon 9 rocket until Saturday.
The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft that flew to the International Space Station in 2014 will return to the orbiting outpost as the company's first refurbished cargo capsule after it launches today on a Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center.
If the 5:55 p.m. launch from pad 39A – the 100th from the complex – and subsequent arrival at the ISS go as planned, SpaceX can add Dragon reusability to its list of accomplishments.
"A majority of this Dragon has been in space before and has been docked with the station for a couple of weeks," said Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX's vice president of flight reliability, during a pre-launch news conference at KSC on Wednesday.
The spacecraft's hull, Draco thrusters and some of its avionics were refurbished for the mission labeled CRS-11. Some exterior components, such as the heat shield, were in need of full replacement after the September 2014 CRS-4 mission.
Koenigsmann said Dragon's planned 10 a.m. Sunday arrival at the ISS with nearly 6,000 pounds of cargo and science experiments will be a milestone for the company aiming to drastically reduce launch costs through reusability.
The Space Coast can also expect to be rattled by a sonic boom as SpaceX also makes its fourth landing attempt at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Landing Zone 1 less than 10 minutes after liftoff.
On the weather front, conditions were 70 percent "go" as of Wednesday morning, according to the Air Force's 45th Weather Squadron, with the forecast dropping to 60 percent "go" for a backup 5:07 p.m. launch on Saturday.
"Welcome to Central Florida's convective season," said Launch Weather Officer Mike McAleenan of the 45th Weather Squadron. "It might help out with the fires a little bit, but it makes afternoon launch windows very spotty for the next three months."