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SpaceX delays launch of 60 Starlink satellites again

May 17, 2019.

Falcon 9 at the launch pad.

Falcon 9 ready for launch. © SpaceX.

After the wind delayed the launch of the first 60 satellites of the future SpaceX Starlink constellation from May 15th to 16th, problems with the satellite software forced the company to cancel the second attempt 24 hours later, which will delay the launch by about 8 days. The two-stage Falcon 9 rocket was scheduled to take off from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Thursday at 10:30 pm (local time), with a cap entirely filled with 60 satellites, each weighing 227 kg. According to Elon Musk, the system should begin to be operational with about 400 satellites at an altitude of 500 km, which will require 6 additional launches. If all goes well with satellite software updates, the Falcon 9 rocket could be ready for launch around May 22–24. SpaceX is licensed to launch more than 11,000 Starlink satellites, far more than the total number of satellites currently in orbit (about 2,000).

Ars Technica, “SpaceX scrubs second attempt to launch 60 Starlink satellites.”

Space.com, “SpaceX delays launch of 60 Starlink satellites again, this time for software checks.”