SpaceX has once again stood down from its 10th Starlink mission to deliver internet satellites into orbit.
Lift-off was scheduled for 10.54am local time (3.54pm BST) from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday, with weather looking favourable before it was cancelled.
“Standing down from today’s launch of the tenth Starlink mission to allow more time for checkouts,” SpaceX tweeted just over an hour before the launch time.
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“Team is working to identify the next launch opportunity. Will announce a new target date once confirmed with the Range.”
The launch would have brought the total number of Starlink satellites in orbit close to 600.
SpaceX boss Elon Musk ultimately hopes to create a 12,000-strong constellation in order to beam high-speed internet back down to Earth.
The launch was initially scheduled for 26 June but was delayed by 12 days as SpaceX said its team “needed additional time for pre-launch checkouts”.
A second launch attempt on 8 July was scrubbed due to poor weather.
Welcome to The Independent’s coverage of the SpaceX launch today. Liftoff is shortly before 4pm UK time, or 11am eastern time.
It is the third attempt at launching the latest batch of Starlink satellites into orbit, with the latest attempt on Wednesday cancelled due to bad weather.
SpaceX launch cancelled minutes before lift-off
SpaceX has been forced to cancel its latest launch due to adverse weather conditions. The private space firm scrubbed the lift off of its Falcon 9 rocket just minutes before its scheduled launch time, as rain clouds passed over the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The launch was already delayed, having previously been scheduled for 26 June. A new launch time is
With just over two hours to go until launch, the big question is whether the weather will hold up. Currently there’s a 60 per cent chance of the launch going ahead.
60 per cent was the chance given by the US Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron at about this time ahead of Wednesday’s scrubbed launch, so keep fingers crossed.
If it does go ahead, here’s how SpaceX describes what to expect following the launch:
- Falcon 9 will lift off from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
- Falcon 9’s first stage previously supported Crew Dragon’s first demonstration mission to the International Space Station, launch of the RADARSAT Constellation Mission, and the fourth and seventh Starlink missions. Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
- The BlackSky Global spacecraft will deploy sequentially beginning 1 hour and 1 minute after liftoff, and the Starlink satellites will deploy approximately 1 hour and 32 minutes after liftoff. Starlink satellites will be deployed in a circular orbit, as was done on the first through fourth Starlink missions.
The sequence should look something like this.
Forget that – launch cancelled!
Unlike Wednesday, it’s not the weather that’s scuppered it. The reason given for standing down today’s launch is the same reason given when the first launch attempt was aborted in late June. Fourth time lucky?
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