SpaceX has been forced to scrub the potential record-breaking launch of its latest batch of Starlink satellites.
Sunday’s mission from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station was the seventh launch of the same Falcon 9 rocket – a record for a reusable booster.
SpaceX boss Elon Musk has previously said that the Falcon 9 rocket could be used up to 10 times before any significant reconstruction. Given periodic overhauls they can eventually fly 100 times.
There may be another opportunity to try a record-breaking mission on Monday, although it will depend on the launch site and favorable weather across the Atlantic Ocean.
“Standing since the launch of Starlink today,” the firm said in a statement.
“Rockets and payloads are healthy; Teams will use the extra time to complete the data review and are now working on a backup opportunity at 9.34pm on Monday 23 November but will be keeping an eye on the recovery weather. “
The failed launch attempt came a day after a successful Falcon 9 launch sent a Sentinel-6 sea-mapping satellite into the orbit of NASA and the European Space Agency.
If successful on Monday, SpaceX’s Starlink launch will mark the 100th flight of a Falcon 9 rocket.
The 16th Starlink mission expects to deliver another 600 satellites into low-Earth orbit as part of SpaceX’s plan to launch a giant star capable of high-speed Internet beaming on Earth.
There are already more than 800 Starlink satellites in operation, currently being used in limited quantities in the Northeast of the United States and Canada.
Mr Musk said earlier this month that people in more southern latitudes could expect to receive Starlink coverage in January, while people outside of North America will have to wait until SpaceX regulator approves it.
Starlink’s website says it is optimistic it will provide space-beamed broadband to 99 percent of the world’s population.
“A global network limited by the current performance and ground infrastructure limitations compared to the Performance Satellite Internet, Starlink will deliver high-speed broadband Internet to places where access is unreliable, expensive or not fully available.”
The project faced criticism from the astronomy community after satellite trains disrupted observations.
An August report from the Satellite constellation 1 (Satcon 1) workshop warned that the network could prove “extremely influential” in both radio and optical astronomy and limit scientific progress.