SpaceX will make its first launch of the new year this Friday from Florida's Cape Canveral, when it launches a television satellite.
The 90-minute launch window starts 5:50 p.m. EST on Jan. 3, and SpaceX will attempt to launch Thaicom Plc's Thaicom 6 television satellite aboard the Falcon 9 rocket. A dry run of the launch was conducted Saturday, and all systems were tested short of firing the rocket's nine engines.
Thaicom is a subsidiary of Shin Corp., the largest telecommunication company in Thailand, and the launch will provide satellite television service to South and Southeast Asia and southern Africa. The satellite was built by Orbital Sciences Corp. and weighs around 7,300 pounds.
SpaceX is looking to capitalize on the successful of launch of an SES television satellite in to geostationary orbit earlier this month. The company already has around 50 launches planned, and is providing low-cost launches to compete with the two established and more expensive space launch companies -- Europe's Arianespace and International Launch Services.
[USA Today] [SpaceX]