For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER/TITUSVILLE, FL – SpaceX is set to try again to for the next launch of their Starlink broadband internet satellite constellation tomorrow at Noon, July 8, after engineers decided to scrub the launch a week and a half ago with less than 3 hours before the planned liftoff June 26, of the veteran 5x recycled Falcon 9.
At the time 12 days ago SpaceX said they needed more time in order to conduct further pre-checks at the pad.
“Standing down from today’s Starlink mission; team needed additional time for pre-launch checkouts, but Falcon 9 and the satellites are healthy. Will announce new target launch date once confirmed on the Range,” SpaceX tweeted June 26
The Falcon 9 rocket was raised again this morning, Tuesday, July 7.
— Ken Kremer (@ken_kremer) July 7, 2020
Liftoff is now rescheduled for 11:59:11 a.m. EDT (1559:11 GMT) Wednesday, July 8 from seaside Launch Complex-39A (LC-39A) on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, FL.
“Falcon 9 is vertical on LC-39A ahead of our tenth Starlink mission, targeted for tomorrow at 11:59 a.m. EDT. Vehicle and payload look good; weather is 60% favorable,” SpaceX tweeted.
Falcon 9 is vertical on LC-39A ahead of our tenth Starlink mission, targeted for tomorrow at 11:59 a.m. EDT. Vehicle and payload look good; weather is 60% favorable → https://t.co/bJFjLCzWdK
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) July 7, 2020
Enjoy our photos of the Falcon 9 on pad 39A taken by the Space UpClose team of Jean Wright and Ken Kremer.
As a result of the scrub SpaceX opted to swap out launches and decided to launch the GPS III SV03 navigation satellite for the U.S. Space Force first and Starlink 10 next.
You can watch the launch live via SpaceX webcast: spacex.com/launches
Live launch coverage will begin about 15 minutes before liftoff.
See our articles and photos about the successful GPS III SV03 on June 30. As well as the booster landing and return to Port Canaveral.
The weather outlook currently shows a 60% chance of acceptable conditions at launch time.
The primary concerns are the Cumulus Cloud Rule and the Surface Electric Field rule.
Media remote camera setup was delayed by the ominous weather and torrential rains occurring all week.
In case of a delay another launch opportunity is available 48 hours later on Friday, July 10 with a slightly more favorable weather forecast at 70% acceptable.
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.
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
This Falcon 9 first stage B1051.5 will be flying for the fifth time.
It previously flew on an unpiloted test flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft from the Kennedy Space Center in March 2019, from California in June 2019 with three Canadian RADARSAT radar observation satellites as well as two Starlink missions – the 4th and the 7th – earlier this year.
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 arrival of the JRTI droneship.
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.
SpaceX also dispatched their two special fairing boats GO MS TREE and GO MS CHIEF to retrieve the payload fairing halves.
Normally they feature giant nets akin to a catchers mitt and deploy them downrange to catch the two payload fairing halves. They departed minus the ships rigged with the nets – indicating the crew may only attempt to scoop the fairing out of the Atlantic Ocean post splashdown.
The two stage Falcon 9 rocket stands 229 feet (70 meters) tall.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has made rocket recycling a top priority in order to slash launch costs.
Musk says that the fairings cost approximately $6 million or roughly 10% of the approximate cost of $60 million for a new Falcon 9 rocket.
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 7,13 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