SpaceX, NASA and Air Force officials confirmed their readiness for the 11:24 a.m. liftoff from Launch Complex 40 during a news conference at Kennedy Space Center on Monday, noting that weather will be 80 percent "go" during the instantaneous window.
"SpaceX is taking additional time for the team to conduct full inspections and cleanings due to detection of particles in 2 stage fuel system", SpaceX wrote in a Twitter status update. By signing off on the mission with a used rocket, the space agency validates "flight-proven" Falcon 9s as safe enough for government work.
The SpaceX Dragon is pictured docked to the International Space Station, August 18, 2017.
The resupply mission will send the Dragon spacecraft with 4,800 pounds of cargo including science research to the International Space Station.
Blue Origin seems poised to launch a new version of its New Shepard suborbital rocket in the company's first launch since October of a year ago.
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This will be the first use this launch pad since September 1, 2016, when a SpaceX Falcon 9 booster rocket exploded during a static fire test, destroying the Amos-6 satellite it was to carry, and heavily damaging the pad's hardware. Late Tuesday, SpaceX pushed back the launch for the second day in a row, saying it needs to rid the second-stage fuel system of unwanted particles. However, more system checks mean that the SpaceX rocket launch must be postponed to Friday at 10:35 a.m. EST.
The Dragon spacecraft - scheduled to arrive at the station later in the weekend - will be packed with almost 4,900 pounds of cargo. Blue Origin has released few details about the launch, and the company might wait until after it takes place to provide more information.
Both the SpaceX Falcon 9 booster and Dragon Spacecraft were supposed to fly their second flight, which is to be a delivery mission for NASA, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida this Wednesday, Dec. 13. A period of constant sunlight in the space station's orbit, known as a high solar beta angle, will prevent the outpost from receiving the Dragon cargo craft.
As before, SpaceX will attempt to land the first-stage booster back at Cape Canaveral after liftoff. The company along with Orbital ATK took over resupply missions to the ISS for NASA after the end of the space shuttle program.