SpaceX The launch of the next Starlink satellite fleet was canceled late Sunday (Nov. 22), delaying a potentially record breaking flight for the mission’s Falcon 9 rocket.
ONE Falcon 9 missile was ready for the seventh launch (a record for the reusable booster) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida when SpaceX scrubbed the mission. Launch was scheduled for 9:56 p.m. EST (0256 GMT) to deliver 60 Starlink Internet Satellite into orbit.
“Withdraw from Starlink’s launch today” SpaceX said in an update on Twitter. “The rocket and payload are healthy. The teams will be spending additional time performing the data reviews and will now be working on a backup option on Monday, November 23rd at 9:34 pm, but will be keeping an eye on the recovery weather.”
SpaceX was a little over 30 minutes from launch when the mission was scrubbed.
“Hold, hold, hold,” said the SpaceX launch director said on a live audio webcast from Mission Control. “We are withdrawing from today’s attempt at an additional mission safeguard.”
The launch attempt on Sunday followed a successful launch of the Falcon 9 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Saturday. This mission launched the ocean mapping satellite Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich for NASA and the European Space Agency and landed their first booster shortly afterwards.
The launch scheduled for today would have marked SpaceX’s 23rd launch in 2020 and the 100th flight of a Falcon 9 rocket. It is also SpaceX’s 16th Starlink mission to set up a massive constellation of high-speed internet satellites in orbit.
The first stage of the Falcon 9 for this flight was first launched in September 2018. when it carried the Telstar 18 Vantage communications satellite into orbit. It flew again in January 2019 to put 10 Iridium Next satellites into orbitand then four more times this year various Starlink missions.
After the launch planned for today, the booster should return to earth to land on SpaceX ‘drone ship “Of course I still love you” in the Atlantic. The weather conditions for this planned recovery could affect plans for another attempt to launch on Monday.
SpaceX’s current Falcon 9 rockets, known as the Block 5 series, are designed to fly at least 10 timesif not more, the company said.
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