SpaceX will target a morning launch window Friday to send off the next batch of its internet satellites, kicking off what promises to be a busy year on the Space Coast for Elon Musk’s rocket company.
SpaceX is hoping to launch 60 Starlink satellites at 10:54 a.m., a change from what was intentionally supposed to be a Tuesday launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s launch complex 40. “Extreme weather” forecast for the recovery zone in the Atlantic Ocean where SpaceX routinely lands its rocket boosters on a drone ship pushed the company to postpone the launch.
But SpaceX cautioned it is still “continuing to monitor weather in the recovery area.”
As far as the launch area, weather is looking good. The U.S. Air Force’s 45th Weather Squadron is forecasting conditions that are 80% favorable for launch for Friday, with some cloud cover as the only concern.
SpaceX has already sent about 180 Starlink satellites to space since May of last year. It’s expected to ramp up the number of Starlink launches this year to enable it to offer coverage to the northern United States and Canada by the end of the year.
The company may also be sending astronauts to space soon. Musk said he expects to launch crew as early as April from the Space Coast, the first time since 2011 that American astronauts launch from U.S. soil.
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