SpaceX to send more Starlink satellites into space -- but when?
SpaceX evaluating best launch opportunity
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – SpaceX test fired a Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Monday, but teams will not target Tuesday for liftoff as previously planned due to weather conditions, News 6 partner Florida Today reported.
"Static fire of Falcon 9 complete ahead of launching 60 Starlink satellites," SpaceX said via Twitter after the routine 2 p.m. test at Launch Complex 40. "Due to extreme weather in the recovery area, team is evaluating best launch opportunity."
It was not immediately clear when teams would be able to make a determination on the next launch attempt.
The recovery area refers to a zone in the Atlantic Ocean where the Of Course I Still Love You drone ship waits for the rocket's first stage to return for landing. If winds and seas are too rough in the area, SpaceX usually waits to find a better opportunity.
Had Falcon 9 launched on time at 11:59 a.m. Tuesday, it would have marked two days since the company’s last flight: the in-flight abort test of a Crew Dragon capsule, which was successful and set the stage for a flight with astronauts sometime in the second quarter of this year.
Static fire of Falcon 9 complete ahead of launching 60 Starlink satellites. Due to extreme weather in the recovery area, team is evaluating best launch opportunity— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 20, 2020
Packed into the rocket's payload fairing, or nose cone, are 60 Starlink satellites designed to beam internet connectivity down to the ground. If successful, the mission will mark the fourth full flight and bring the constellation's size to 240 satellites, further solidifying SpaceX's position as the largest satellite operator in the world by number on orbit.
Beyond Starlink, meanwhile, a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is being prepped for a high-profile launch on Feb. 5 of Solar Orbiter. The spacecraft is a joint mission between the European Space Agency and NASA and will study the heliosphere, or sun’s region of influence.
The launch will be streamed live on ClickOrlando.com when it happens.
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