Update March 4: SpaceX is aiming to launch its Falcon 9 rocket later today, along with another sea barge landing attempt once it finally does manage to the the rocket up into the air - something the company has been having difficulties with, though not because of the rocket itself. (Update: The launch was a success, but the ocean landing failed, not entirely unexpected).
In what has become a bit of a saga for SpaceX, the weather and a pesky boat gone rogue has caused the launch to be scrubbed a number of times since its original scheduled launch last week. It was at first rescheduled (likely due to weather) from February 25 to the following day, however, the second attempt was aborted during the final seconds of the countdown.
Another launch was scheduled for February 28, but again the countdown was held, due to a boat entering the edge of the clear zone of the sea barge the Falcon 9 would have attempted to land on. Elon Musk explained in a tweet that holding for the boat to clear the area caused rising oxygen temperature and a helium bubble, which triggered an alarm.
The launch was again rescheduled for earlier this week, however Musk then announced that due to extreme high altitude wind shear, it would be pushed back to today, Friday, March 4.
SpaceX's new targeted launch time for the Falcon 9 rocket is at 6:35pm ET, with a window that extends to 8:06pm ET. The live coverage, which you can watch below, will begin 10 minutes prior.
SpaceX is gearing to launch its Falcon 9 rocket today, and, like launches before it, the world will be watching from start to finish. Especially the finish.
While SpaceX launches have thus far gone without a hitch, this time, the company has been having some difficulty getting cleared for take off, whether it be for the whether or rogue boats. It has ended up rescheduling the launch time and again for over a week now.
Once the rocket does finally take off, what most of us will probably be watching out for is SpaceX's attempt to land its rocket on a drone ship at sea again - something it's not yet succeeded in doing.
Unfortunately, even SpaceX isn't hopeful it can pull it off the sea landing, saying ahead of its original launch attempt last week, that "a successful landing is not expected" for this mission.
The company has been attempting sea landings in hopes of creating a fuel-efficient, reusable rocket that could ferry people and cargo up into orbit more cheaply in the future. However, so far, it has only managed a successful vertical landing on solid ground, with sea landings proving to be much more difficult.
The Falcon 9 rocket is taking off from Cape Canaveral at 6:35pm ET, with a launch window up to 8:06pm ET. Coverage will begin 10 minutes before the scheduled time.
The rocket will carry the SES-9 commercial communications satellite, which will provide broadcasting and communications services to parts of Asia, as well as maritime communications in the Indian Ocean, to a unique Geostationary Transfer Orbit, where it will be deployed.
Due to this different orbital plan, SpaceX will attempt what it calls an "experimental landing" on the 'Of Course I Still Love You' droneship, and is why it has been expecting the landing to fail for this mission.
Still, even if the landing ends in an explosion, the launch itself will be worth the watch (which hopefully, finally happens today). You can see the live coverage once it begins below.