SpaceX, the US space exploration technology company, has delayed the launch of the next batch of Starlink satellites due to problems with the valve components of the second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket,media reported. The company said the next attempt will take place on February 17 (18 Beijing time) local time in the United States.
Pictured: In May 2019, the Space X Falcon 9 rocket will launch a CRS-17 cargo Dragon resupply mission for NASA, with the same booster planned for the Starlink satellite tomorrow
SpaceX was scheduled to launch 60 Starlink satellites on a four-handed Falcon 9 rocket at launch pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Station in Florida at 10:25 a.m. EST on February 16. However, hardware problems with the rocket caused the company to delay the launch by 24 hours.
A Representative for Space X wrote on Twitter: “Starlink’s satellite launch has been suspended and the team is carefully examining the rocket’s second-stage valve components. The target now is to launch on February 17, local time. “
This is not the first time the Starlink satellite launch has been delayed, after bad weather conditions prompted SpaceX to postpone the launch until the weekend. SpaceX completed pre-launch testing on February 14th, and the company had hoped to lift the rocket into space on the 15th, but a study of the weather forecast found that the 16th was a more appropriate date.
The Starlink satellite’s two-stage Falcon 9 rocket had flown three times before, sending the Cargo Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station twice in May and July 2019 and putting a heavy communications satellite into orbit in December 2019.
After the successful launch, the first stage of the rocket is expected to land on Space X’s unmanned recovery ship, marking the company’s 50th successful recovery booster. SpaceX is also trying to recycle the payload rectifier and has deployed two of its recycling vessels. Elon Musk, Space X’s chief executive, said the moves would ultimately reduce launch costs.