SpaceX Tries Again To Launch More Internet Satellites

HAWTHORNE (CNS) - Hawthorne-based SpaceX today will try again today to launch a rocket carrying 60 internet satellites into orbit, one day after delaying the mission due to a “recovery issue.''

The company had planned to launch the rocket with the Starlink satellites at 11:19 a.m. Thursday California time from Cape Canaveral in Florida. But SpaceX announced at about 11 a.m. that the launch had been scrubbed.

“Standing down from today's Starlink launch due to recovery issue; vehicle and payload remain healthy,'' the company tweeted.

SpaceX will try again Friday, with the launch window opening at 10:57 a.m. California time.

Although the issue forcing the delay in Thursday's launch wasn't specified, it likely involved the company's plans to recover the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket following the launch. The company plans to land the rocket back on a barge -- named “Just Read the Instructions -- floating in the Atlantic Ocean, as part of its cost-cutting process of recovering the equipment for use in future missions.

The rocket being used for the satellite has flown two previous missions for SpaceX, including its historic launch earlier this year of two astronauts to the International Space Station.

Following the launch, SpaceX also hopes to recover the two-piece fairing, or protective nosecone, using a separate ship. One of the fairing halves was also used in a previous mission.

The mission will be the 13th to carry Starlink satellites into orbit. Nearly 700 such satellites are already circling the planet, with initial plans calling for as many as 12,000, and the ultimate array topping 40,000.

The Starlink system is designed to provide low-cost internet access in traditionally underserved areas around the world. The service is already being tested by some SpaceX employees, with public beta testing anticipated to begin later this year.

Photo: Getty Images

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