SpaceX experienced a delay in the launch of its Falcon 9 rocket carrying a batch of Starlink internet satellites at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Although no immediate reason for the delay was provided, the weather conditions were less than ideal due to lightning-producing thunderstorms in the area. However, despite the delay, the launch was successful.
The rocket took off at 10:00 p.m. EDT, following a southeasterly trajectory along Florida’s coastline. The first stage booster, which has completed its 10th trip to space and back, landed on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. The rocket’s upper stage continued on to deploy 22 Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit. SpaceX has already launched around 5,200 of these satellites as part of its efforts to build a globally spanning constellation. The company has expanded its service offerings to every continent.
This mission, called Starlink 6-19, marked the 52nd orbital launch from Florida’s Space Coast this year, nearing the record of 57 launches set in 2022.
In addition to this launch, there are other upcoming missions scheduled. United Launch Alliance will launch the Atlas V rocket carrying the KuiperSat-1 and 2 prototype satellites for Amazon’s Project Kuiper broadband system. This system aims to provide global internet service connectivity using over 3,000 satellites. The launch window for this mission opens on Friday, October 6, at 2 p.m. EDT.
Meanwhile, SpaceX is preparing for the launch of a Falcon Heavy rocket carrying NASA’s Psyche spacecraft. This spacecraft will study a metal-rich asteroid located between Mars and Jupiter. The launch has been rescheduled to October 12 to allow for more time for spacecraft checkouts.
Overall, while SpaceX experienced a delay, the successful launch of the Starlink satellites adds to the progress of building out the global internet satellite constellation.