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.
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 (@SpaceX) July 8, 2020
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.
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.
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 (@SpaceX) July 9, 2020
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.
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. #starlink pic.twitter.com/Zgs2PmS9T7
— Spaceflight (@SpaceflightInc) July 7, 2020
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.
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.
The payload is comprised of the tenth batch of Starlink satellites.
This Falcon 9 first stage B1051.5 will be flying for the fifth time.
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
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.
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:
Watch my commentary about the SpaceX Starlink launch at WFTV ABC 9 Orlando TV News on Jun 25
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
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.
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