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SpaceX postpones next launch of its internet satellites due to ‘extreme weather’ at rocket recovery site

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Monday, Nov. 11, 2019 with 60 Starlink communications satellites. (The Orlando Sentinel/TNS)

SpaceX is postponing a launch of another batch of its internet satellites set for Tuesday afternoon due to “extreme weather” in the rocket’s recovery zone in the Atlantic Ocean, the company said.

Elon Musk’s rocket company was initially scheduled to launch a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s launch complex 40 during a launch window that opened at 11:59 a.m. But following a static fire test on Monday, the company tweeted that its team is evaluating what the next best launch opportunity may be.

It has not yet set a new date for launch.

SpaceX routinely lands its rocket boosters on its drone ship, “Of Course I Still Love You,” which is stationed off the coast of Florida during each launch. But bad weather in the recovery area could impact the company’s reusability record. And because the payload on this launch is SpaceX’s own satellites, the company has some wiggle room when it comes to determining launch times.

The launch would carry the fourth batch of 60 Starlink satellites for SpaceX, which has already sent about 180 satellites to space since May of last year. The company is working toward a goal of having hundreds of satellites on orbit by the end of 2020 to being Internet coverage to the Northern United States and Canada.

That’ll make for a busy year for SpaceX, which is also working to send astronauts to space. The company had a successful test of the in-flight abort system for its crew capsule, called Crew Dragon, on Sunday from the Space Coast.


© 2020 The Orlando Sentinel