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Iffy forecast for Monday SpaceX launch at KSC

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo spacecraft on the pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 40 before a Jan. 6 launch attempt.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo spacecraft on the pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 40 before a Jan. 6 launch attempt. (SpaceX)


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Showers and thick clouds might pose a challenge Monday afternoon during SpaceX's attempt to launch its next International Space Station resupply mission from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Local 6 news partner Florida Today reports there's a 60 percent chance of favorable weather for the instantaneous launch window at 4:33 p.m. Monday, according to the Air Force's 45th Weather Squadron.

A cold front moving through the area is expected to cause thunderstorms and lightning over the weekend.

It should begin to dissipate Monday, but there remains "a threat of rain showers, thick cloud coverage and anvils drifting towards the coast from inland storms," the forecast reads.

SpaceX will try to launch a 208-foot Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft packed with more than 4,300 pounds of food, equipment and experiments.

The mission is SpaceX's sixth under a NASA Commercial Resupply Services contract originally valued at $1.6 billion for 12 flights, but which has had several missions added.

A Monday launch would put the Dragon on course to reach the station early Wednesday. If the launch slips to Tuesday, there is a 70 percent chance of favorable weather.

After the launch, SpaceX will make another attempt to land its Falcon 9 booster on an ocean-going platform it calls the "autonomous spaceport drone ship," part of tests aimed at developing a reusable rocket.

SpaceX plans an important pre-launch test-firing of the booster's nine Merlin engines on Saturday at Launch Complex 40.