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Another SpaceX Launch Attempt Friday

A Falcon 9 rocket with an SES-9 satellite wait on the pad. Photo: SpaceX Twitter

SpaceX will try once again to launch a communications satellite into orbit. Friday marks the fifth try for the private space company.

The Falcon 9 rocket is using a super-cooled liquid oxygen fuel to increase the efficiency of the rocket – but it’s causing delays, too.

On Sunday, SpaceX got as close as T-minus 0, but the engines shut down immediately after startup when an on-board computers determined the fuel wasn’t cold enough.

But when it comes to space launches, delays are common, says Space Florida’s Dale Ketcham.

“Shuttles were often delayed for months. If we had an analogous engines firing on a shuttle, and then shutting down, it would have been months before we got off the pad,” said Ketcham

Ketcham says SpaceX’s quick turnaround time from launch abort to launch attempt shows the company is focusing on efficiency and reusability when it comes to rocket launches — and it’s changing the rocket industry.

“Their ability to turn things around is so dramatically different than what we were familiar with from previous government launches, that it’s really changing  the expectations.”

An attempt earlier this week was scrubbed due to weather. Friday’s launch window opens at 6:35 PM and extends until 8:06 PM. The Air Force forecasts a 90% chance of favorable weather.

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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Intersection' Producer

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts "Are We There Yet?", WMFE's space exploration podcast He also helps produce WMFE's twice-weekly public affairs show "Intersection," working with host Matthew Peddie to shape the ... Read Full Bio »