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SpaceX Rocket Set to Launch on 'Spacegiving'

Photo by Roberto Gonzalez/Getty Images(TITUSVILLE, Fla.) --  There's no rest for the employees at SpaceX, even on Thanksgiving Day. After a technical glitch halted the company's original launch plans on Monday, the Falcon 9 rocket is ready to lift off Thursday evening at 5:38 p.m. ET.

"We observed unexpected readings with the first-stage liquid oxygen system, so we decided to investigate," a spokeswoman for SpaceX said in statement explaining the reason for the postponement. "The launch vehicle and satellite are in great shape, and we are looking forward to the next launch opportunity."

The spokeswoman was referring to a communications satellite for the Luxembourg telecom company SES. SpaceX has also launched a rocket for the company MDA Corp, although that was considered more a test flight than a full-fledged mission. If successful, Thursday will be SpaceX's commercial debut.

Even though the year is coming to a close, SpaceX is still planning to launch one more satellite before 2013 is over. On Dec. 20, another Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Thaicom 6 satellite into orbit. Beyond that satellite, SpaceX still has more than 50 launches totalling nearly $4 billion left on its to-do list.

Thursday will be Cape Canaveral's first Thanksgiving launch since 1959. In addition, comet ISON's trip around the sun has also caught space lovers' attention. Both of these events have inspired Twitter users, including SpaceX itself, to use the hashtag #Spacegiving.

SpaceX's livestream of the launch starts at 5 p.m. ET.

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