High wind scraps SpaceX observatory launch, rocket landing

AP logo
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket
Maintenance is performed by workers on the Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket at launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Monday, Feb. 9, 2015.
AP Photo/John Raoux

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL -- Dangerously high wind is keeping a deep-space observatory grounded for yet another day.

SpaceX called off Tuesday evening's planned launch of the Deep Space Climate Observatory, with just 12 minutes remaining in the countdown. Wind gusts reached 115 mph several miles up, a safety concern.

It was the company's second attempt in three days to launch the spacecraft first envisioned by former Vice President Al Gore.

SpaceX must launch the observatory by Wednesday or face a delay until Feb. 20.

Just as exciting as liftoff will be the company's effort to land the leftover first-stage booster on an ocean platform. SpaceX's billionaire founder Elon Musk wants to eventually reuse his rockets, and that means getting them back intact.