SpaceX, from Elon Musk, kicks off the new year by sending a new communications satellite to space for the nation of Turkey.
Turksat 5A is the first of a pair of next-generation transmitters that SpaceX will put into orbit from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Thursday night.
SpaceX has confirmed its planned launch and posted a link to the upcoming webcast, which is embedded at the top of this story on its website. Airspace closures and weather reports also indicate that it is on schedule with a backup window about 24 hours later.
The satellite is expected to ride a Falcon 9 booster from the first stage that will make its fourth flight, followed shortly after by its fourth landing, this time on the Just Read The Instructions droneship parked in the Atlantic Ocean.
This will be a relatively routine mission for SpaceX, but a night launch from the space coast is always a spectacular sight.
The Falcon 9 is currently set to take off sometime during a four-hour period beginning at 5:28 p.m. PT (8:28 p.m. local ET). The weather forecast is 70% favorable on Thursday evening and 80% favorable the following evening.
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