SpaceX wiped out another Starling launch site, and the rescheduled bombing suffered another setback. The work was initially scheduled to take place on September 17, but was halted at the last minute due to a recovery issue; The weather then affected the second attempt.
This is the thirteenth Starling launch, set to place another set of the company’s Internet satellites in a rising galaxy. The Starling terrain guarantees broadband speeds, but without stable infrastructure, connects satellites in low Earth orbit to a specially designed tracking receiver dish on the ground.
In fact, getting satellites into that galaxy is not always easy – or undisputed. Today’s Sixty Satellite Launch was scheduled to take place at 9:17 a.m. EDT, aboard the Falcon 9 rocket at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. However, according to SpaceX, that plan had to change shortly before launch.
“Family floor system stands down from today’s Starling mission due to lack of sensor reading,” the company said Tweeted, “Announces new target release date once range is confirmed.”
This is one of the two launches planned by SpaceX this week. GPS III-4 will explode in Kennedy on Friday, October 2, and has already been modified. There is a 15-minute window from 9:43 pm, SpaceX says.
The Starling mission not only provides an opportunity to deploy more satellites, but also demonstrates SpaceX’s commitment to reusable space technology. The used Falcon 9 has a first phase booster that has already flown twice. After the launch, it is planned to capture one of SpaceX’s robotic recovery ships so that it can be reused.
While this is a frustration for the company, not everyone will be disappointed as the Starling galaxy is slow to grow. The project has faced voice criticism from some quarters, with astronomers complaining that incandescent satellites could interfere with ground-based telescopes. It said SpaceX would reduce the amount of light returning to Earth by promising to use a new, reflective coating on its hardware.
Meanwhile, SpaceX’s work with NASA continues as the first crew dragon launch with astronauts is scheduled for October 31st. This follows the successful return of the test aircraft to the International Space Station last month. Although much later than initially intended, the delay allows astronauts and astronauts currently on the ISS to further investigate air leaks at the space station.