Dismal Weather Forces SpaceX Starlink Launch Scrub, Retargeted to July 11: Photos

SpaceX Falcon 9 for 10th Starlink comsat launch stands vertical at Launch Complex-39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center below dismal weather that forced launch scrub on July 8 as it was vigorously venting liquid oxygen (LOX) in final minutes of countdown – now retargeted to July 11, 2020. Credit: Jean Wright/spaceupclose.com

For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER/TITUSVILLE, FL –  A late morning front with dismal weather pushed into the Florida Space Coast Wednesday morning as expected dumping torrential rain and lightning strikes on and around the Cape and thus forced another multiday scrub by the SpaceX team to the launch of the next batch of their Starlink broadband internet satellites to the weekend from the Kennedy Space Center.

Liftoff of the oft delayed 10th SpaceX Starlink mission is now retargeted to Saturday morning, July 11 – if the weather holds which is a dicey proposition during Florida Space Coast summers.

The countdown was halted at approximately T Minus 15 minutes just as the Falcon 9 second stage was vigorously venting liquid oxygen (LOX) at pad 39A as it was being fueled with propellant.

“Standing down from today’s mission due to weather; proceeding through the countdown until T-1 minute for data collection. Will announce a new target launch date once confirmed on the Range,” SpaceX tweeted.

The SpaceX launch team did continue to proceed with the launch countdown to T Minus 1 minute to allow  for collection of valuable data to quite similar to a static fire test minus the actual engine ignition of the 9 Merlin 1D first stage engines  – under the gloomy and stormy weather.

Dreary storm clouds over NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in final minutes of countdown forced scrub of 10th SpaceX Starlink launch from Launch Complex-39A in final minutes of countdown on July 8 – now retargeted to July 11, 2020. See VAB at right as seen from Titusville. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

After the launch scrub SpaceX had to first reconfirm availability on the Eastern range with the 45th Space Wing before announcing a new launch date  – which took more than 24 hours and only came today.

“Targeting Saturday, July 11 at 10:54 a.m. EDT for Falcon 9 launch of 57 Starlink satellites and 2 BlackSky spacecraft, a @SpaceflightInc customer,” SpaceX tweeted. 

Enjoy our photos of the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch attempt from pad 39A taken by the Space UpClose team of Jean Wright and Ken Kremer.

SpaceX Falcon 9 for 10th Starlink comsat launch stands vertical at Launch Complex-39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center below dismal weather that forced launch scrub on July 8 as it was vigorously venting liquid oxygen (LOX) in final minutes of countdown – now retargeted to July 11, 2020. Credit: Jean Wright/spaceupclose.com

The mission designated Starlink 9 is comprised of 57 Starlink satellites as well as a pair of Earth observation satellites for Seattle-based BlackSky Global for what counts as SpaceX’s second rideshare mission. 

“We are ready for the launch of our @spacex SXRS-1 mission! We’ll be taking @BlackSky_Inc to orbit! Launch targeted for tomorrow. Follow us for more details on livestream,” BlackSky  tweeted.

The weather outlook from the 45th Space Wing Weather Squadron currently shows the same 60% chance of acceptable conditions at launch time.

The primary concerns are the Cumulus Cloud Rule and the Surface Electric Field rule.

Thus we may again be in store for a roller coaster morning of launch expectations on Saturday.

Horrendous storm clouds over the VAB at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center that forced SpaceX Falcon 9 Starlink mission launch scrub on July 8 in final minutes of countdown – now retargeted to July 11, 2020. Credit: Jean Wright/spaceupclose.com

Surprisingly, there is no backup launch date at this time.

Perhaps one will be announced on Friday or Saturday.

The two stage Falcon 9 rocket stands 229 feet (70 meters) tall.

SpaceX Falcon 9 for 10th Starlink comsat launch stands vertical at Launch Complex-39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center below dismal weather that forced launch scrub on July 8 as it was vigorously venting liquid oxygen (LOX) in final minutes of countdown – now retargeted to July 11, 2020. Credit: Jean Wright/spaceupclose.com
If all goes well the Starlink constellation will increase to about 600 satellites total.

The payload is comprised of the tenth batch of Starlink satellites.

T plus 2 hours post SpaceX noontime scrub of July 8, 2020 Starlink launch from KSC Launch Pad 39A (center right above) continuing atrocious weather persists over the Cape from Port Canaveral perspective that also halted work on recovered Falcon 9 from GPSSIIISV03 launch after lowering horizontal this morning-at center below. 2 Falcon 9’s visible this wide angle view. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

This Falcon 9 first stage B1051.5 will be flying for the fifth time.

SpaceX Falcon 9 for 10th Starlink comsat launch stands vertical at Launch Complex-39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for launch targeted for July 8, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Falcon 9’s first stage previously supported Crew Dragon’s first demonstration mission to the International Space Station, launch of the RADARSAT Constellation Mission, and the fourth and seventh Starlink missions.

Prelaunch preparations for the next SpaceX  Starlink mission began last week marked by the departure of the “Of Course I Still Love You” (OCISLY) droneship on July 4 – just prior to the arrived of the JRTI droneship

OCISLY droneship towed out of Port Canaveral, FL on July 4, 2020 for tenth Starlink mission. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

SpaceX will attempt to land the 1st stage on OCISLY.

OCISLY was towed away from her berthing spot at North Cargo Pier 6 by tug Finn Falgout for the second time as I watched from Jetty Pork Beach. When it departed for the first time I watched from across the south pier.

OCISLY droneship departs Port Canaveral towed by tug Finn Falgout under beautiful twilight skies at 7:15 p.m. June 19, 2020 ahead of next SpaceX Starlink launch targeted for June 23 and 1st stage landing. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Droneship OCISLY is waiting at its stationing position some 400 mi (640 km) north east of KSC off the coast of the Carolina’s

Enjoy our Space UpClose eyewitness photos of the OCISLY droneship departures.

Watch my prelaunch commentary about the 10th SpaceX Starlink launch at WKMG CBS 6 Orlando TV News on July 10:

https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2020/07/09/spacex-targeting-this-weekend-for-10th-starlink-launch/

Watch my commentary about the SpaceX Starlink launch at WFTV ABC 9 Orlando TV News on Jun 25

https://www.wftv.com/news/local/brevard-county/spacex-launch-another-round-starlink-satellites-friday/4WKS5J4QDBA7TJ2E4SPI5UJQRI/

Watch my live Starlink launch and post ULA Atlas V WDR  interview about Mars 2020 rover and more  at the American Space Museum ‘Stay Curious’ daily weekday show on June 22, 2020

Space Journalist Dr. Ken Kremer joins "Stay Curious"

Update on Artemis to the Moon with space journalist/photographer Dr. Ken Kremer to help you "Stay Curious."

Posted by American Space Museum & Space Walk of Fame on Monday, June 22, 2020

 

Watch Ken’s continuing reports about Commercial Crew and Artemis and onsite for live reporting of upcoming and recent SpaceX and ULA launches including Demo-2, Starlink, X-37B, Solar Orbiter, Mars 2020 and more at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com

Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics.
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Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events

Ken’s upcoming outreach events:

Jul 10, 7 PM: Quality Inn Kennedy Space Center, Titusville, FL. “SpaceX GPS, Starlink and Demo-2 and NASA/ ULA Atlas V Mars 2020 rover and more launches.” Free. In hotel lobby. Photos for sale

Horrendous storm clouds over the VAB at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center that forced SpaceX Falcon 9 Starlink mission launch scrub on July 8 in final minutes of countdown – now retargeted to July 11, 2020. Credit: Jean Wright/spaceupclose.com
SpaceX Falcon 9 for 10th Starlink comsat launch stands vertical at Launch Complex-39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for launch targeted for July 8, 2020. Credit: Jean Wright/spaceupclose.com

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Ken Kremer

Ken Kremer

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.

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