SpaceX Aborts Starlink Satellite Mission Rigged With 'Sun Visors' Due to Weather
SpaceX had planned to launch a combined payload of 57 Starlink satellites atop a Falcon 9 first-stage rocket, along with two satellites the company is launching on BlackSky's behalf — but the mission was aborted due to unfavorable weather conditions, according to a SpaceX tweet.
The mission was initially scheduled for liftoff at 11:59 AM EDT from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center, Florida.
The broadcast for the launch should have gone live 15 minutes early, at 11:44 AM EDT, and with a 60% chance of favorable weather, all signs pointed to a clockwork launch iteration, according to a SpaceX tweet.
Alas, the mission was aborted.
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UPDATE July 8, 11:48 AM EDT: Mission aborted due to weather
At 11:48 AM EDT, SpaceX aborted the Starlink mission scheduled for 11:59 AM EDT, citing unfavorable weather conditions.
Standing down from today’s mission due to weather; proceeding through the countdown until T-1 minute for data collection. Will announce a new target launch date once confirmed on the Range— SpaceX (@SpaceX) July 8, 2020
"Standing down from today's mission due to weather; proceeding through the countdown until T-1 minute for data collection. Will announce a new target launch date once confirmed on the Range," read the SpaceX tweet aborting the mission.
SpaceX was launching Starlink satellites with 'sun visors'
The first-stage Falcon 9 rocket previously lifted the first Crew Dragon demonstration mission to the International Space Station. Earlier, it was also used for the launch of the RADARSAT Constellation Mission, in addition to the fourth and seventh Starlink missions.
If the first stage separation had completed on Wednesday, SpaceX's Falcon 9 would have landed on the "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship, which was stationed and waiting in the Atlantic Ocean.
All Starlink satellites on this flight were to be equipped with deployable visors to block sunlight from striking the brightest points on the spacecraft — a means to help mitigate satellite reflectivity, SpaceX hopes.
BlackSky Global's joint SpaceX venture
This launch, when it goes forward, will add to BlackSky's already-active constellation of six orbiting satellites. The new payload will include satellites manufactured by LeoStella, which is a joint venture of BlackSky and Thales Alenia Space.
The next launch window for SpaceX's latest Starlink satellite mission was not announced by end-of-day Wednesday, but be sure to revisit this website to learn when the next attempt will be made.