by Brooks Hays
Cape Canaveral, Fla. (UPI) Jun 20, 2013
Tonight, private aeronautics company SpaceX is planning to launch six satellites into orbit via its Falcon 9 rocket. The rocket is set to blast off at 6:08 p.m. from its launch pad at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Orbcomm has had to remain patient, as the company's latest Orbcomm Generation 2, or OG2, satellites should be miles above Earth's surface already. The launch has been delayed several times, first when Falcon 9 suffered a helium leak and later when problems with some of the satellites were discovered.
The launch could be delayed again, as a growing chance of rain could muddy this evening's plans, forcing engineers to launch Saturday instead.
The six communications satellites aboard the Falcon 9 are part of a constellation worth some $200 million, with the remaining ten satellites scheduled for launch later this year.
But Orbcomm, SpaceX's first commercial customer, is getting the same deal they got on the Falcon 1, even though the new satellites are hitching a ride on the newer, better Falcon 9.
Orbcomm is paying SpaceX $47 million for two launches, carrying a total of 17 satellites. "That would be priced today at about $120 million," explained Orbcomm chief executive Marc Eisenberg.
The launch will be broadcast via the Internet on LiveStream.
Launch Pad at Space-Travel.com
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