SpaceX scrubs rocket launch

Falcon 9 now set for Monday night launch

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist
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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - SpaceX on Sunday scrubbed a rocket launch from Kennedy Space Center because of technical issues.

The launch of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying an Intelsat Epic communication satellite was aborted at the 10-second mark of the countdown. No other details were immediately provided.

"Guidance abort issued just before liftoff; standing down for today," SpaceX said in a tweet Sunday. "Vehicle and payload are healthy."

SpaceX will be able to try again Monday at 7:37 p.m., when forecasters said there's a 70 percent chance of favorable weather. The launch window will last 58 minutes.

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Inching closer to its goal of biweekly launches SpaceX is preparing for the third Falcon 9 launch, just nine days after back-to-back satellite launches.

SpaceX is targeting Sunday evening to launch an Intelsat Epic communication satellite from Kennedy Space Center launchpad 39A. Unlike the rockets last weekend, this one is expendable and will not make a landing at sea or back at Cape Canaveral.

[WATCH LIVE AT BOTTOM OF STORY: SpaceX set to launch third rocket in 9 days]

Weather could be an issue Sunday for the 58-minute launch window, which opens at 7:36 p.m. Air Force weather officials predicted a 40 percent chance of “Go” launch conditions Sunday, citing cloud cover as the sea breeze pushes in storms. If the launch is delayed to Monday, conditions improve to 50 percent.

The satellite is the fourth in the Intelsat Epic line, which provides broadband for wireless providers.

SpaceX, which is lead by CEO Elon Musk, has already surpassed the number of launches completed last year half way into 2017. Intelsat will mark the 10th launch of this year.

COO Gwynne Shotwell said at the beginning of the year that the company wants to start launching every two to three weeks. SpaceX has a backlog of 70 customer contracts for their launch vehicles: the Falcon 9 and the Falcon Heavy. The first Falcon Heavy launch is tentatively set for the end of the summer using two pre-flown boosters, Musk said.

With last weekend's doubleheader launches from both U.S. coasts SpaceX has successfully recaptured 13 Falcon 9 first-stage boosters.

Also this week, the company secured a lease for two acres at Port Canaveral to build a hangar where previously-flown rockets will be refurbished and sent back out to launch, which could further shorten the time between launches.

Check back for updates on launch day and watch the liftoff live on Clickorlando.com/space.

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