SpaceX has delayed its Sunday morning Falcon 9 launch, which was to send a pair of Starlink broadband satellitesand a Spanish radar-imaging satellite into low-Earth orbit, to Wednesday at 9:17 a.m. Eastern.
This launch from the Vandenberg Air Base in Southern California has been delayed for the second time. SpaceX tweeted on Saturday this postponement is to allow for more testing on the upgraded nose coneor so it can “perform final checkouts of upgraded fairing.”
Team at Vandenberg is taking additional time to perform final checkouts of upgraded fairing. Payload and vehicle remain healthy. Due to mission requirements, now targeting February 21 launch of PAZ.
This primary purpose of the Paz mission is to launch an observational satellite, heavily financed by the Spanish Ministry of Defense, to gather images during the five-and-half-year-long mission.
Though not part of the official press release, the Paz mission also includes two broadband satellites — Microsat-2a and Microsat-2b — that are part of its wider planto send 4,425 satellites into orbit to bring broadband connectivity to the 57 percent of the globe without the internet.
It’s also interesting that following the major success of the Falcon Heavy launchon February 6, which reused three Falcon 9 rockets, SpaceX isn’t attempting to recover this particular Falcon 9 rocket.
“These are case-by-case decisions and are based on mission requirements and the needs of our manifest,” a SpaceX representative told Inversewhen asked why it won’t recover the rocket.
If you want to watch the launch on Wednesday, tune into SpaceX’s livestreamat 9:17 a.m. Eastern or 6:17 a.m. Pacific. Twenty minutes prior to liftoff, the webcast will begin streaming.
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