Poor Weather Forces SpaceX Postponement of Falcon 9 Starlink Satellite Launch from KSC to Jan. 18 Eve: Photos/Watch Live

Poor Weather Forces SpaceX Postponement of Falcon 9 Starlink Satellite Launch from KSC to Jan. 18 Eve: Photos/Watch Live
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket raised vertical for lift off slated at 7:04 p.m. EST Jan 18, 2022, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Starlink 4-6 mission delivering next batch of 49 Starlink high speed broadband internet satellites to low Earth orbit – as seen on Jan. 17 from Playalinda Beach, Canaveral National Seashore, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

PLAYALINDA BEACH/CANAVERAL NATIONAL SEASHORE, FL – Continuing poor weather in the form of excessively high winds and waves forced SpaceX to postpone today’s, Jan. 17, planned liftoff of the 35th Starlink internet satellite mission on a veteran Falcon 9 by one day from Monday to Tuesday evening, Jan. 18 from the Kennedy Space Center – thus continuing a rapid fire launch cadence with their 3rd launch of 2022.

Vast swaths of Florida suffered high and damaging winds, rains and even terrible tornadoes in southern Florida over the weekend and winds continued throughout the Space Coast region all day today.

The Monday prime time liftoff of the 10x recycled Falcon 9 booster carrying a payload of 49 Starlink high speed broadband internet satellites to low Earth orbit on the Starlink 4-6 mission had to be delayed 24 hours because of high ground winds at the Kennedy Space Center, excessive upper altitude shear winds, and risky prospects for the droneship recovery weather at sea.

Beachcombers enjoy view of SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket raised vertical for lift off slated at 7:04 p.m. EST, Jan 18, 2022 from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Starlink 4-6 mission delivering next batch of 49 Starlink high speed broadband internet satellites to low Earth orbit – as seen on Jan. 17 from Playalinda Beach, Canaveral National Seashore, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

SpaceX announced the delay to Tuesday via tweet

See our Space UpClose photos of the Falcon 9 vertical at pad 39A taken this afternoon at Playalinda Beach.

As I told station WFTV local ABC TV News in Orlando before the delay was announced a postponement was likely based on both the poor launch and landing weather conditions.

Beachcombers enjoy view of SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket raised vertical for lift off slated at 7:04 p.m. EST, Jan 18, 2022 from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Starlink 4-6 mission delivering next batch of 49 Starlink high speed broadband internet satellites to low Earth orbit – as seen on Jan. 17 from Playalinda Beach, Canaveral National Seashore, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

Originally liftoff was slated for Monday, Jan. 17.

Blastoff of the 229 foot tall (70 meters) SpaceX Falcon 9 Starlink 4-6 mission is now scheduled for 7:04 p.m. EST Tuesday, Jan. 18 (0004 GMT Wednesday, Jan. 19), from Launch Complex-39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida during an instantaneous launch window.

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket raised vertical for lift off slated at 7:04 p.m. EST, Jan. 18, 2022, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Starlink 4-6 mission delivering next batch of 49 Starlink high speed broadband internet satellites to low Earth orbit – as seen on Jan. 17 from Playalinda Beach, Canaveral National Seashore, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

You can watch all the action via a SpaceX live webcast that will begin about 15 minutes prior to liftoff – starting around 6:50 p.m.:
spacex.com/launches

Playalinda Beach will not be open for launch viewing since it closes at 6 p.m.

Many viewing locations ring the pad in Titusville and Port Canaveral, Jetty Park Beach and points south

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket raised vertical for lift off slated at 7:04 p.m. EST, Jan. 18, 2022, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Starlink 4-6 mission delivering next batch of 49 Starlink high speed broadband internet satellites to low Earth orbit – as seen on Jan. 17 from Playalinda Beach, Canaveral National Seashore, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

The Falcon 9 rocket and integrated Starlink payload encapsulated inside the nose cone were rolled out horizontally to pad 39A on Sunday, Jan. 16.

The recycled booster supporting this mission is designated as tail number B1060 and will be flying on its 10th mission to space and back as B1060.10

Falcon 9 booster B1060.10 previously launched GPS III-3, Turksat 5A, Transporter-2, and six Starlink missions.

F9 Behind Sand Dunes: SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket raised vertical for lift off slated at 7:04 p.m. EST, Jan 18, 2022 from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Starlink 4-6 mission delivering next batch of 49 Starlink high speed broadband internet satellites to low Earth orbit – as seen on Jan. 17 from Playalinda Beach, Canaveral National Seashore, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

Most recently it flew as B1060.9 on the Starlink 4-3 mission on Dec. 2, 2021.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 will fly away and aloft on a rare southerly trajectory heading southeast and just north of the Bahamas at an inclination of 53.2 degrees into the second of five Starlink orbital ‘shells.’

The approx. 500 pound flat panel solar powered Starlink satellites are planned for release at T + 15 minutes and 32 seconds into an initial orbit ranging in altitude between 130 miles and 210 miles (210 x 339 kilometers).

File photo:  60 Starlink satellites stacked and ready for encapsulation inside 1st ever reflown payload fairings. Credit: SpaceX

On board ion thrusters will gradually raise them to their operating altitude

The weather outlook is currently excellent at 90% GO.

“On Tuesday, high pressure will settle overhead, making for another chilly morning with low temperatures near 45 degrees at the spaceport,” Space Launch Delta 45 forecasters, said in an update forecast Monday.

“Skies will continue to be mostly cloud-free and with winds becoming light and variable, making excellent weather conditions for a Tuesday evening launch attempt.”

Furthermore, the upper altitude wind shear and booster recovery issues are rated as low risk on Tuesday, an improvement from Monday risks rated as moderate and high.

The payload comprises 49 upgraded Starlink internet communications satellites manufactured by SpaceX in their Redmond, Washington production facility – enlarging the existing and burgeoning broadband constellation to over 2000 launched thus far.

The goal of SpaceX’s Starlink constellation is to provide low cost, high-speed, low-latency broadband connectivity around the world.

SpaceX is targeting an initial constellation of about 4,400 satellites that could grow to literally tens of thousands over time.

Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on the A Shortfall of Gravitas (ASOG) droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean north of the Bahamas.

SpaceX Launch and Landing graphic

Each of Falcon 9’s fairing halves previously supported one Starlink mission, SpaceX announced.

Enjoy my prelaunch photos of the Falcon 9 Starlink 4-6 mission taken at Playalinda Beach this afternoon for Space UpClose.

 

Starlink 4-6 also continues the incredible launch pace of as many as 7 planned launches in January by SpaceX, ULA and startup Astra

SpaceX has already launched two Falcon 9 rockets in January on the Starlink 4-5 mission Jan. 6 from pad 39A with a droneship landing and Transporter-3 with 105 smallsats on Jan. 13 from pad 40 with a rare and thrilling ground touchdown back at the Cape at Landing Zone-1.

Big beach crowds at Jetty Park Beach and Pier cheer as spent SpaceX Falcon 9 1st stage booster returned and deploys four landing legs to make propulsive soft landing at Landing Zone-1 some eight minutes after liftoff on Transporter-3 rideshare mission carrying 105 satellite payloads at 10:25 a.m. EST, Jan. 13, 2021, from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Falcon 9 1st stage recycled booster B1058 has now flown 10th time to space and back. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

Another Starlink flight is planned in late January.

Crowds on new pier and river boaters watch as SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off at 4:49 p.m. EST from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Jan. 6, 2022 on first launch of 2022 on Starlink 4-5 mission delivering next batch of 49 Starlink high speed broadband internet satellites to low Earth orbit – as seen from Space View Park, Titusville, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

The next Falcon 9 after Tuesdays will launch the CSG-2/Cosmo-SkyMed-2 satellite south to polar orbit on January 27.

Normally launches from Kennedy and the Cape avoid the southerly trajectory to avoid populated areas and thus prevent polar launches in the past.

However improvements in rocket maneuvering technology and innovation by SpaceX has enabled the use of the southern corridor and south polar launches favored for science and some surveillance missions because they provide a different global view of Earth.

The first southerly launch from the Cape involved Saocom-1B in 2019 and they have now flown three more since then.

Daylight Launch and Landing Streaks from Transporter-3. 3 image sequence shows SpaceX Falcon 9 liftoff at 10:25 a.m. Jan 13, 2022 and landing some 8 minutes later as thrilled crowds watched & cheered looking north from Jetty Park Beach to Jetty Park Pier at Port Canaveral along Atlantic Ocean. 1st Image: Launch is 2 x 25 sec long duration image composite + inset with 25 sec single image of landing of 10x flown booster B1058 that delivered 105 small spacecraft to LEO on Transporter-3 rideshare mission to share and cut costs dramatically. 2nd image launch only. 3rd image landing only. All wide angle lens images. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

The southeasterly route is also more favorable for booster landings and fairing recoveries in the winter months says SpaceX compared to the harsher weather off the Carolina’s coast

Early January’s SpaceX Starlink 4-5 mission involved flying the Falcon 9 on a south easterly trajectory and Transporter 3 flew south.

This year 2022 will see even more south polar launches than ever before and feature perhaps as many as five just in January, according to a statement from the U.S Space Force.

 

Last year 2021 was a record-breaking year of 31 launches by SpaceX and ULA from the Space Coast and another launch record breaker is expected in 2022.

Ken’s prelaunch photos featured at WKMG CBS 6 Orlando

Ken’s prelaunch commentary about Starlink and What’s Ahead for NASA human and science missions and Florida Space Coast were featured on Fox 35 News Orlando and WFTV ABC 9 Orlando TV News

Ken Kremer of Space UpClose interview on Jan 17, 2022 about SpaceX Starlink launch

https://www.fox35orlando.com/news/spacex-preparing-for-first-starlink-launch-of-2022-how-to-watch

 

Watch Ken’s continuing reports about SpaceX  Starlink , SpaceX Crew and Cargo Dragons, Artemis, SLS, Orion and NASA missions, DART,  Lucy Asteroid mission, Blue Origin and Space Tourism, Commercial Crew and Starliner and Crew Dragon and onsite for live reporting of upcoming and recent SpaceX and ULA launches including Crew 1 & 2 & 3, ISS, Solar Orbiter, Mars 2020 Perseverance and Curiosity rovers, NRO spysats and national security missions 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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Eye piercing sun glare looking straight into SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket created cool silhouettes backdropped with dramatic cloudy skies is slated for liftoff on Transporter-3 rideshare mission carrying 105 satellite payloads at 10:25 a.m. EST, Jan 13, 2021, from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Falcon 9 1st stage recycled booster B1058 will launch for 10th time and land at LZ-1. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

 

4x flown to space and back SpaceX Falcon 9 recovered 1st stage booster B1062 hoisted off ASOG droneship as pelicans patrol, just hours after sailing into Port Canaveral at sunrise on Jan. 11, 2022. From Starlink 4-5 mission launched and landed on Jan. 6, 2022 on first launch of 2022 delivering 49 Starlink high speed broadband internet satellites to low Earth orbit. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

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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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