Update for Oct. 7: SpaceX is now targeting a Friday launch at 7:06 p.m. EDT (2306 GMT) to launch its Intelsat G-23/G-24 mission after an automatic abort on Oct. 6. You can watch it above.
SpaceX plans to launch a Falcon 9 rocket on its record-tying 14th mission Friday (Oct. 6), and you can watch the action live.
The Falcon 9, topped with Intelsat’s Galaxy 33 and Galaxy 34 satellites, is scheduled to lift off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station Thursday during a 69-minute window that opens at 7:06 p.m. EDT (2306 GMT). Watch it live here at Space.com, courtesy of SpaceX, or directly via the company (opens in new tab).
If all goes according to plan, the Falcon 9’s first stage will come back to Earth and land on SpaceX’s A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship about 8.5 minutes after launch. The robotic ship will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean, a few hundred miles off the Florida coast.
It will be the 14th launch and landing for this particular booster, according to a SpaceX mission description (opens in new tab). The rocket previously helped launch the GPS III-3 and Turksat 5A satellites, the Transporter-2 rideshare mission and 10 big batches of SpaceX’s Starlink internet satellites.
Fourteen missions is the current record for a Falcon 9 first stage, set just last month during a launch that lofted the BlueWalker 3 communications satellite and 34 Starlinks.
The mission timeline calls for Galaxy 33 to be deployed about 33 minutes after liftoff and Galaxy 34 to follow suit five minutes later.
The duo “are the next satellites in Intelsat’s comprehensive Galaxy fleet refresh plan, a new generation of technology that will provide Intelsat Media customers in North America with high-performance media distribution capabilities and unmatched penetration of cable headends,” Luxembourg-based Intelsat wrote in a statement (opens in new tab). “It is critical to Intelsat’s U.S. C-band clearing strategy.”
The mission was originally supposed to launch on Thursday evening (Oct. 6), but the Falcon 9 initiated an auto abort shortly (opens in new tab) before the planned liftoff. The abort was caused by a small helium leak, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said via Twitter Thursday (opens in new tab).
Mike Wall is the author of “Out There (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab).