CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - SpaceX canceled Thursday night's launch of a Falcon 9 rocket so that it can perform a satellite software update and "triple-check everything again," the company said in a tweet.
SpaceX had planned to send the rocket into orbit on Wednesday evening, but that launch was scrubbed due to excessive high-level winds. The launch window was rescheduled for 10:30 p.m. Thursday. Now, SpaceX is eyeing next week for a possible launch date.
The rocket will carry 60 broadband communication satellites into space, known as Starlink.
Standing down to update satellite software and triple-check everything again. Always want to do everything we can on the ground to maximize mission success, next launch opportunity in about a week.— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 17, 2019
The Starlink mission will be the heaviest SpaceX payload ever at 18.5 tons. If all goes well, each launch of 60 satellites will generate more power than the International Space Station and deliver one terabit of bandwidth to Earth.
“They specifically said it’s the satellites; that’s all we need to focus on, but the rocket is in good shape,” said Dr. Ken Kremer, who runs the website SpaceUpClose.com.
Earlier this week, Kremer was dialed into a conference call with SpaceX CEO Elon Musk about the Starlink mission.
“He does expect that some of the satellites, or maybe even all of them, could fail. They don’t know," Kremer added. "To a large extent, it’s an experiment, but he [Musk] always says that.”
Starlink will be a network of satellites -- eventually thousands upon thousands of them -- providing Internet service for parts of the world that typically cannot get connected to the world wide web.
“So if a few of them fail, that would be fine, but if all of them fail, that would be really bad,” Kremer said.