The company had originally planned on launching the rocket Nov. 25 but technical issues postponed it. SpaceX tried again Thanksgiving Day, but computers shut down the attempt after sensing an issue in the rocket’s nine engines.
The launch is now set for 2:41 p.m. PST today. The event can be viewed on a webcast beginning at 2:25 p.m. on the company’s website.
When the rocket does blast off, it will be SpaceX’s first launch of its upgraded Falcon 9, dubbed version 1.1, from Florida. The company first launched the rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, about 150 miles northwest of Los Angeles, in September.
It will also be the first time SpaceX lifts a spacecraft to geostationary transfer orbit -- nearly 50,000 miles from Earth. The company said the launch will be the most challenging mission to date.
The SES-8 telecommunications satellite weighs 7,055 pounds and was built by Orbital Sciences Corp. It will provide signals to television and broadband for telecommunication company SES’ customers in Asia.
SpaceX, known formally as Space Exploration Technologies Corp., is looking to launch rockets carrying satellites for government and commercial customers at a rate of about once a month over the next five years.
In addition to launching small satellites, SpaceX has a $1.6-billion contract with NASA to make a dozen unmanned missions to restock the International Space Station. SpaceX has completed three flights to the orbiting laboratory.
If the launch does not happen today, SpaceX said Wednesday will serve as a backup.