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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is ready to lift off from the Space Coast on Wednesday afternoon, its southern trajectory mission expected to produce sonic booms that rattle windows as the booster returns to Cape Canaveral.
The 230-foot rocket, scheduled to lift off between 2:25 p.m. and 3:24 p.m. EDT, is expected to carry dozens of payloads from Launch Complex 40 into mostly clear skies and then return to nearby Landing Zone 1. for a local booster landing.
The mission trajectory known as Transporter-5 will see Falcon 9 fly southeast and along the state’s coast.
Just as onlookers see the 162-foot booster land, however, sonic booms will echo off the Space Coast and signal the arrival of Falcon 9. The booms usually sound like a muffled explosion, but can also sound like two or three booms distinct by location. Although loud and startling, they are generally harmless.
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The liftoff forecast looks solid at 80% “go”, according to the Space Force.
“For the first hour of launch early Wednesday afternoon, most activity is expected to be inside the spaceport, with only a few lingering cumulus clouds and the potential for anvils of activity further afield. west of major launch issues,” Space Launch Delta 45 forecasters said Tuesday.
If postponed to Thursday, Falcon 9’s weather chance drops a bit to 60% “go”.
Wednesday’s flight marks the fifth Transporter mission, a type of SpaceX product that allows multiple customers to share the costs of a single Falcon 9 launch. Some Transporter missions have carried nearly 150 payloads into orbit.
Transporter mission customers include universities, research organizations, telecommunications companies, other commercial space companies, and more.
The timing of the next Space Coast launch, meanwhile, is still up in the air. As it stands, an uncrewed SpaceX Dragon capsule will transport supplies and science experiments from Kennedy Space Center to the International Space Station no earlier than 11:30 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, June 7. A Starlink internet mission, however, could find its way onto the schedule by then, though SpaceX didn’t provide any details.
For the latest information, visit floridatoday.com/launchschedule.
SpaceX launch Wednesday, May 25
- Rocket: SpaceX Falcon 9
- Mission: Carpool Transporter-5
- Launch time: 2:25 p.m. to 3:24 p.m. EDT
- Launch Complex: 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station
- Trajectory: Southeast
- Landing: Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral SFS
- Weather: 80% “go”
Visit floridatoday.com/space at 1 p.m. EDT Wednesday, May 25 for real-time updates and live video.
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