Update 4:30 p.m: Bad weather prevailed. Due to lightning strikes near Kennedy Space Center, which is not allowed within 30 minutes of launch, SpaceX scrubbed Thursday’s launch attempt. The next launch attempt is Saturday at 5:07 PM ET.
Original message: Weather conditions aren’t great at the Kennedy Space Center — with clouds and scattered thunderstorms — but SpaceX will attempt to launch a Dragon spacecraft from Florida to the International Space Station on Thursday night. The instant launch window opens at 5:55pm ET (10:55pm BST).
The launch is significant because it is SpaceX’s first attempt to fly a Dragon spacecraft again. This particular dragon first flew to the International Space Station in September 2014 when it delivered nearly 2.5 tons of cargo. That was SpaceX’s fourth resupply mission to the orbiting lab. Thursday is the company’s 11th. The spacecraft has undergone a major overhaul and has a new heat shield.
Nevertheless, flying the vehicle again would be an important milestone for SpaceX. In six decades of spaceflight, only the five space shuttles, two X-37B spaceplanes, and a single Soviet VA spacecraft have made two or more orbital flights. No private company has ever achieved this feat. The webcast below should begin approximately 20 minutes before the launch window opens. The company will attempt to return the first stage booster to a fixed location on the coast about nine minutes after launch.