SpaceX canceled the launch of its next Starlink satellite fleet late Sunday (Nov. 22), postponing a possibly record-setting flight for the mission’s Falcon 9 rocket.
A Falcon 9 rocket was ready to make its seventh launch (a record for the reusable booster) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida when SpaceX scoured the mission. The takeoff was planned for 9:56 p.m. EST (0256 GMT) to deliver 60 Starlink web satellites to orbit.
“Standing down from today’s launch of Starlink,” SpaceX said in an update on Twitter. “Rocket and payload are healthy; teams will use additional time to complete data reviews and are now working toward backup opportunity on Monday, November 23 at 9:34 p.m. but keeping an eye on recovery weather.”
SpaceX was a little more than 30 minutes from launch when the mission was cleaned.
“Hold, hold, hold,” SpaceX’s launch director said in a live audio webcast from Mission Control. ” We’re standing down from today’s attempt for additional mission assurance.”
Sunday’s launch attempt followed closely following an effective Falcon 9 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Saturday. That mission launched the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich ocean-mapping satellite for NASA and the European Space Agency and handled its first stage booster shortly afterward.
The present planned launch would have denoted SpaceX’s 23rd launch of 2020 and the landmark 100th flight of a Falcon 9 rocket. It is likewise SpaceX’s 16th Starlink mission to develop a huge constellation of high-speed internet satellites in orbit.
The Falcon 9 first stage for this flight previously launched in September 2018, when it conveyed the Telstar 18 Vantage communications satellite into orbit. It flew again in January 2019 to deliver 10 Iridium Next satellites to orbit, and afterward four additional times this year on various Starlink missions.
After the presently planned launch, the booster was relied upon to re-visitation of Earth again to land itself on SpaceX’s robot transport “Of Course I Still Love You” in the Atlantic Ocean. The weather conditions for that arranged recuperation could affect plans for another launch attempt on Monday.
SpaceX’s present Falcon 9 rockets, called the Block 5 series, are intended to fly in any event 10 times, if not more, the organization has said.