The Falcon 9 rocket booster that sentin May is set to get recycled again when SpaceX sends 60 more to orbit atop its column of fire, but it didn’t happen Thursday as planned.
The launch, originally scheduled for September, has been postponed multiple times due to weather, including on Monday morning when heavy clouds above Florida’s Cape Canaveral prevented launch at the last second. On Thursday, another launch was scrubbed 18 seconds before blastoff due to an aberrant ground sensor reading. A new target launch date has not yet been announced.
“All in a day’s work for the launch team. They’ll investigate, diagnose probable cause, fix the problem, and get us ready for the next launch attempt,” SpaceX spacecraft operator Siva Bharadvaj tweeted.
Elon Musk’s trademark reusable rocket will be making its third flight when it lifts off from Kennedy Space Center. This specific unit sent astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to orbit in May and thenin July. So far, SpaceX has managed to launch and land the same rocket up to .
When the launch finally gets off the ground, it should be fairly routine. It will be the 13th Starlink mission so far, and SpaceX is planning on dozens more as it grows its broadband mega-constellation.
One half of the nose cone, or fairing, atop the rocket has also seen two previous flights, both of them earlier Starlink missions.
Following the launch and separation of the rocket’s second stage and payload, the first-stage booster will again return to Earth to land on a droneship in the Atlantic.
SpaceX will stream the entire thing, starting at about 10 minutes before launch. When a new launch date is announced, we’ll update this post and you can also plan to watch here.