Watch NASA & SpaceX’s Third Attempt to Launch a Space Climate Observatory Live!
Maybe we'll have better luck with space weather?
Yesterday’s planned launch of NASA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory—DSCOVR (don’t question it)—was canceled due to high-altitude winds, so they’re making a second attempt today that you can watch right here starting around 5PM EST.
Unfortunately, SpaceX won’t be trying to land the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket that is carrying DSCOVR back on their “Just Read the Instructions” (really) drone ship. They had one failed attempt to test out their reusable rocket technology previously, but they won’t get a second shot today as had originally been planned.
The private spaceflight company wrote in an update,
The drone ship was designed to operate in all but the most extreme weather. We are experiencing just such weather in the Atlantic with waves reaching up to three stories in height crashing over the decks. Also, only three of the drone ship’s four engines are functioning, making station-keeping in the face of such wave action extremely difficult. The rocket will still attempt a soft landing in the water through the storm (producing valuable landing data), but survival is highly unlikely.
DSCOVR is planned to lift off at 6:03PM EST with live coverage beginning at 5PM EST. If today’s attempt isn’t successful, the launch will have to wait until February 20 due to the position of the Moon interfering with DSCOVR’s trajectory. You can learn more about its mission to monitor space weather and keep us all safe from the Sun’s moods by watching a video here.