SpaceX Arabsat 7b/BADR-8 Launch

SpaceX plans to launch the Arabsat-7B/BADR-8 communications satellite to a geosynchronous transfer orbit on 2023-05-27 in a 127 minute launch window opening at 03:25 UTC (which is in the evening of May 26 in western hemisphere time zones). The launch will be from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The first stage booster, B1062, will be making its fourteenth flight, after a turnaround time of 79 days since its last mission. Booster landing will be on the Just Read the Instructions drone ship in the Atlantic.

The satellite will boost itself to geostationary orbit at the 26° East slot to provide communications services to central and north Africa, southern Europe, and the near east, replacing the BADR-7 satellite launched in 2015. The word “badr” in Arabic (بدر) means “full Moon” and may also refer to the Battle of Badr on 624-03-13 (2 A.H., 17 Ramadan), where Muslim forces from Medina defeated a force from Mecca guarding a caravan bound for that city.

Here is the pre-launch preview from Everyday Astronaut.

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After being repeatedly postponed to the very end of the 127 minute launch window yesterday, 2023-05-24, the countdown was halted and launch attempt scrubbed about 3 minutes and 25 seconds before liftoff due to violation of weather criteria. Weather was forecast as 25% favourable for launch prior to the start of the launch window, so this wasn’t a surprise.

The launch has been rescheduled for a 127 minute window opening at 03:25 UTC on 2023-05-25. I have updated the main post accordingly. I have not seen a weather forecast for this new launch window.

Update: A weather forecast released around 21:00 UTC on 2023-05-24 put the probability of favourable weather at the start of the launch window as 20%. (2023-05-24 22:00 UTC)


The launch attempt for 2023-05-25 was called off around a hour and half before the start of the launch window due to foul weather with no prospect of clearing in time. The next attempt has been scheduled for 2023-05-27 with the window opening at 03:25 UTC. Weather is forecast as 40% favourable for launch which isn’t great, but better than the 20% forecast for the first two attempts. I have updated the original post accordingly.