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First launch of 2020: SpaceX Starlink liftoff happening Monday night

Weather conditions improve next week

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – The Space Coast will have to wait a few more days to watch a SpaceX Falcon 9 blast off for the first time in the new year as the company is now targeting Monday night for its launch of 60 internet satellites.

The Falcon 9 rocket was scheduled for liftoff Friday night from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Statio, however, Air Force Weather officials said scattered showers and storms would make for poor launch conditions.

SpaceX officials confirmed it is now targeting no earlier than Jan. 6 for launch.

According to the launch forecast from the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron, conditions for the 9:09-9:29 p.m. launch window are near perfect more than a 90% chance of favorable conditions.

A backup launch window is available Tuesday morning, according to the Air Force forecast.

Inside the rocket’s nose cone will be 60 Starlink satellites, which will increase the total of Starlink satellites in space to 180.

SpaceX is planning to eventually launch thousands of satellites to create a space-based global internet. It has two more Starlink satellite launches planned for the first part of 2020.

Satellite manufacturer OneWeb and Amazon also have plans to create space-based internet service using swarms of satellites.

SpaceX is also targeting no earlier than Jan. 11 for a launch abort test of its astronaut-rated capsule the Crew Dragon. That test is one of the final steps before SpaceX can fly NASA astronauts on board the spacecraft.

According to the 45th Space Wing, there are 48 launches slated for the Eastern Range in 2020.

Launch details

Rocket: Falcon 9

Payload: 60 Starlink satellites

Launch window: Jan 6 from 9:09-9:29 p.m.

Launch forecast: <10% Go


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