For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM
CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, FL – Dismal weather forced SpaceX to scrub this mornings Falcon 9 launch attempt of Transporter-1, their first dedicated SmallSat Rideshare Program mission in the final minutes of the countdown on Jan. 23 loaded with a record setting number of 143 satellites of all shapes and sizes on the firms third rocket liftoff of 2021 on a recycled first stage booster set to blastoff for a 5th time from Florida’s Space Coast.
The SpaceX team is now retargeting the next launch attempt to Sunday morning Jan. 24 to a window opening at 10:00 a.m. EST 1550 GMT.
Weather turned unexpectedly gloomy Saturday morning in the final hours leading up to todays launch attempt.
SpaceX engineers scrubbed the launch because of poor weather at T Minus 5 minutes during the countdown Saturday morning, but continued to T Minus 30 to collect valuable data going forward.
“Due to unfavorable weather, we are standing down from today’s launch; the team will continue with the countdown until T-30 seconds for data collection. Another launch attempt is available tomorrow, January 24 with a 22-minute window opening at 10:00 a.m. EST,” SpaceX tweeted.
Due to unfavorable weather, we are standing down from today's launch; the team will continue with the countdown until T-30 seconds for data collection. Another launch attempt is available tomorrow, January 24 with a 22-minute window opening at 10:00 a.m. EST
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 23, 2021
Liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 Transporter-1 rideshare mission is slated for a 22-minute launch window that opens at 10:00 a.m. EST, or 1550 GMT, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021 from seaside Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
The launch window extends 22 minutes until closing at 10:22 a.m. EST (1522 GMT).
Altogether 133 nano and micro satellites as well as another 10 Starlinks are encapsulated inside the nose cone – for a total of 143 – which is also recycled from an earlier launch.
The rideshare strategy enables much cheaper cost rides to space for small payload customers by spreading out the launch cost amongst a multitude of customers from government, industry, academia and more, rather than buying a full price dedicated Falcon 9 flight.
Enjoy our eyewitness prelaunch photos of the Falcon 9 rocket both standing vertical and resting horizontal at pad 40 from the team of Ken Kremer and Jean Wright at Space UpClose.
You can watch the SpaceX launch live at www.spacex.com about 15 minutes before scheduled launch time.
Transporter-1 will carry payloads for Planet, Kepler Communications, Nanoracks, Spire, Capella Space, ICEYE, NASA, Spaceflight, Celestis and a range of additional commercial and government customers in addition to SpaceX’s own Starlinks.
Read our preview story here for further details
Furthermore Transporter-1 counts as SpaceX’s second launch this week following the Jan. 20 Inauguration Day 2021 liftoff of the 17th Starlink broadband internet satellite mission – check out our story and photos.
The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) Falcon 9 rocket was raised erect Friday, Jan. 22 and is poised for liftoff to deliver the dozens of rideshare satellites to low Earth orbit (LEO).
My prelaunch photos with the rocket horizontal at pad 40 were featured at WKMG CBS 6 Orlando and WFTV ABC 9 Orlando:
Watch Ken’s continuing reports about NASA missions and Artemis, Mars Perseverance and Curiosity rovers, SpaceX, Starlink, Commercial Crew and ISS from onsite for live reporting of upcoming and recent SpaceX and ULA launches including Crew 1 & 2, Demo-2 and Starliner, X-37B, Solar Orbiter, NRO spysats 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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