SpaceX pushes rocket launch back to Sunday

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying supplies to the International Space Station lifts off at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida last month

Then, on Instagram, Musk said a hold-down test fire for the rocket was happening next week, with plans to launch by the end of the month.

If that demonstration mission is a success, SpaceX has at least two more Falcon Heavy launches planned for 2018, of the Arabsat 6A communications satellite and the Space Test Program 2 mission for the U.S. Air Force, although the timing of those missions is uncertain.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch that was expected to happen Friday night has been pushed back to Sunday night. "Launch end of the month", Musk wrote on Instagram. The launch of Zuma is clearly the company's main priority, at the moment. Only the Saturn V moon rocket, last flown in 1973, delivered more payload to orbit. The aerospace giant completed 18 American missions with its Falcon 9 rockets.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers the closest public viewing of launches with the purchase of a launch viewing/transportation ticket. If bugs are found, the vehicle may instead be detanked of its propellant load and rolled back to LC-39A's integration facilities in order to analyze those issues and ensure vehicle safety and readiness.

For the first time since the February 2003 disaster of NASA's Columbia space shuttle, the United States unilaterally topped the list for the number of successful orbital launches in 2017.

The Falcon 9 rocket's reusable first stage will attempt a controlled landing at Landing Zone 1 (LZ1) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. In the meantime, antsy fans can bask in the beauty of a timelapse Elon Musk recently posted, showing Falcon Heavy being lifted into a vertical orientation during its first pad-fit checks several days ago.

And it looks like SpaceX is just getting started.

Follow along live as our launch photographer Tom Cross braves the Florida cold and launch delays in pursuit of glorious rocket pics over the next several days.

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