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A Falcon 9 rocket, weather and other glitches permitting, will in the early hours of March 14th, launch an EchoStar satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit en-route to a position serving pay-TV customers in Brazil from 45 degrees West.
However, on this occasion the rocket will not be recovered by SpaceX, as the satellite is extremely large (12,100 lbs) and in the words of SpaceX owner Elon Musk is too ‘hot and heavy’ to re-land.
The launch is scheduled for 01.34am Florida (EDT) local time (GMT 05.34), from Cape Canaveral’s Pad 39A.
The satellite was originally scheduled to launch last year but Falcon 9 delays have forced this slippage. The satellite has to be in position and in use by the end of June this year.