Politics Kept a Mission in Cold Storage and Delayed for 12 Years, Launching Feb. 8th

The Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) mission has withstood time, politics, technological changes and now stands prepared for launch. (Credit: NASA, NOAA,SpaceX, Getty Images)

The Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) mission has withstood time, politics, technological changes and now stands prepared for launch. (Credit: NASA, NOAA,SpaceX, Getty Images)

For DSCOVR – the payload of SpaceX’s next Falcon 9 launch, waiting one more week is a yawn. The Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) spacecraft has withstood a delay of over 12 years. Word from Cape Canaveral is that the Air Force is delaying the launch of the next Falcon 9 until February 8. Two days earlier, the launch date was moved to January 31st.

Its original mission name could not be more noble, Triana – the name of Columbus’ sailor that first saw the New World. Then, it got tangled in the ignoble politics of space and climate change. Yet, if all goes well for the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch, the famous GoreSat satellite will be deployed and then immediately upstaged by what everyone agrees is a major milestone – returning a rocket’s 1st stage gently to Earth to reuse and to reduce the cost of space travel.
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