Elon Musk’s SpaceX is a lot like Elon Musk’s Tesla: they’re as much in the service business as they’re about breaking technological barriers. So although SpaceX made huge news last December by successfully recovering its rocket booster, this time around—tonight, in fact, at precisely 6:46:17 p.m. EST—you can expect no such success as you watch the webcast.
That’s because the customer, Luxembourg’s SES, a satellite company that provides mobile and video bandwidth to Asia and South Asia as well as to trans-Pacific Airbuses supplying the Internets to cramped coach passengers, was expecting this satellite to go into orbit last September.
That didn’t happen. Two months earlier, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that was supposed to resupply the International Space Station blew up, jumbling the rest of SpaceX’s schedule for 2015.