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Weather conditions are expected to be favorable for the Early Wednesday, the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, the Air Force confirmed over the weekend.

The 3:59 am The liftoff from Launch Complex 40 should face 80% of the "go" conditions during the instantaneous window, meaning the rocket must launch at that time or delay to another day.

"Southeasterly winds and isolated coastal showers are expected to continue on Tuesday and early Wednesday morning," predictors with The 45th Weather Squadron said Sunday. "These cumulus cloud showers are the main weather concern."

In the event of a delay to Thursday, the conditions remain largely the same, but do see a dip to 70% "go" due to the increased probability of thick cloud layers

Shortly after liftoff, the rocket's 156-foot-tall first stage will return to land about 16 miles off the coast from Port Canaveral on the Of Course I Still Love You drone ship, generating sonic booms

The mission – SpaceX's 17th under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract – follows the loss of a Crew Dragon capsule at Cape Canaveral on April 20. Teams were testing its SuperDraco aborts the engines at Landing Zone 1 when an anomaly occurred, leading to the decision to land on the drone ship.

Cargo Dragon and Crew Dragon, while similar to some common components, are different vehicles. The last is designed for cargo only, while the former has successfully flown once without a crew and is designed to take an astronaut to the ISS.

Contact Emre Kelly at aekelly@floridatoday.com or 321-242-3715. Follow him on Twitter Facebook and Instagram at @EmreKelly

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Dec. 5, 2018: A SpaceX Falcon 9 has been successfully launched from Cape Canaveral with supplies for the ISS, but the first stage is landing at nearby Landing Zone 1.
     SpaceX

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