SpaceX canceled another “Starlink” launch, according tomedia reports, causing another setback to the rescheduled launch. The mission was originally scheduled for September 17, but was cancelled at the last minute due to recycling problems, and weather conditions later affected a second attempt. This is the 13th time the company has launched a Starlink satellite.
Starlink promises ground broadband speeds but doesn’t require a fixed infrastructure, combining satellites in low-Earth orbit with a specially designed tracking receiver dish antenna on the ground.
However, sending a satellite into the constellation is not easy and controversial. Today’s 60 satellite launches are scheduled for 9:17 a.m. EST, and the Falcon 9 rocket will be launched at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. But according to SpaceX, the plan had to be changed shortly before launch.
“Due to sensor readings in the home ground system, we will cancel today’s Starlink mission and once the launch date has been determined, we will announce a new target launch date,” the company said in a post on Twitter. “
It was one of two launches SpaceX plans this week. GPS III-4 was scheduled to launch in Kennedy on Friday, October 2, and has been rescheduled. SpaceX said there was a 15-minute window starting at 9:43 p.m. EST.
The Starlink mission will not only deploy more satellites, but will also further demonstrate SpaceX’s commitment to reusable space technology. For example, the Falcon 9 in use has a first-stage booster that has been flying twice. After the launch, SpaceX’s robotic recovery spacecraft plans to capture it for re-use.
While this is a setback for the company, not everyone will be disappointed by the slow growth of the Starlink constellation. Because the project has been strongly criticized by some, astronomers have complained that flashing satellites can interfere with ground-based telescopes. SpaceX fought back and promised to use a new anti-reflective coating on its hardware.
Meanwhile, SpaceX’s partnership with NASA continues, with the first manned Dragon spacecraft carrying astronauts to be launched on October 31. Although this was later than originally planned, the delay gave astronauts on the International Space Station more time to investigate the station’s air leak.