SpaceX launch scrubbed by high winds

Cape Canaveral — SpaceX scrubbed the launch of a communications satellite atop a Falcon 9 rocket early Tuesday because of high winds. SpaceX will try again Thursday at 1:35 a.m. ET, when the weather has a 90% chance of being favourable.

The launch was to be SpaceX’s second from historic pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center, a former launch site for Saturn V moon rockets and space shuttles. SpaceX successfully activated the pad with a Feb. 19 flight of a Dragon capsule ferrying supplies to the International Space Station.

Because this mission will launch a heavy satellite to a high orbit — more than 22,000 miles over the equator — SpaceX will not try to land the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket “due to mission requirements,” according to the company’s mission overview.

Owned by Englewood, Colo.-based EchoStar Corp., the EchoStar 23 satellite will provide direct-to-home broadcast television services to Brazil from an orbital position at 45 degrees West longitude.

SpaceX’s launch was to be the first of perhaps three from Cape Canaveral in a week, featuring each of the rockets that launch regularly from the Space Coast.

United Launch Alliance is targeting liftoffs no earlier than Friday of a Delta IV rocket and military communications satellite, and no earlier than March 21 of an Atlas V rocket and Cygnus cargo capsule bound for the International Space Station.

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