SpaceX delays Falcon 9 launch of Starlink satellites due to unfavourable winds

SpaceX has scrubbed today's planned launch & moved it by 24 hours to Thursday, starting 8 am IST.

SpaceX has decided to delay its planned launch on 16 May of Starlink satellites into orbit by at least 24 hours. The launch was to add 60 new test satellites to its planned network of a 12,000-strong network of broadband satellites.

The Starlink satellites were to be launched from the Cape Canaveral’s Complex 40 launch pad in Florida to liftoff on a Falcon 9 rocket as a 90-minute launch window was to open at 11.00 pm EDT Wednesday (8.30 am IST Thursday). All tests ahead of the Falcon 9 launch, including a static fire test of the Falcon 9, were completed successfully leading up to the launch on 16 May (IST).

It came as a surprise when SpaceX's mission launch director, with 13 minutes left in the countdown for liftoff, announced that the mission was scrubbed.

A forecast issued by the US Air Force had predicted an 80 percent chance of acceptable weather for the launch attempt, with a small change of upper-level winds that could complicate matters.

 SpaceX delays Falcon 9 launch of Starlink satellites due to unfavourable winds

The Falcon 9 rocket standing on the launchpad at Cape Canaveral ahead of launch. Image: SpaceX/Twitter

The launch window will have been open till 12 am EDT Wednesday (9.30 am IST Thursday). However, the opportunities to launch are limited while wait for wind conditions to improve after the Falcon 9 rocket is fuelled for liftoff.

(Also Read: SpaceX gears up to launch sixty demo Starlink internet satellites on 15 May)

SpaceX has planned another launch attempt Thursday, with the launch window opening at 10.30 pm EDT (8 am IST Friday).


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