ThenPlaying havoc with SpaceX’s launch schedule, rocket company Elon Musk is in a hurry to get more of Starlink broadband satellites into orbit. The company’s 14th orbiting router group was shipped upwards from Cape Canaveral to Florida Sunday morning, and another set of 60 or more satellites is scheduled to launch from Florida on Wednesday, according to in airspace closure.
The launch on Sunday was courtesy of a fire tower at the end of a Falcon 9 rocket first stage making the sixth flight of its career. It successfully landed on a droneship in the Atlantic to possibly fly at a later date. Both halves of the rocket cone were also caught by ships equipped with large nets, although one seemed to penetrate the net slightly.
SpaceX and competitorsThe launch attempts saw scrubbed weather and technical problems between late August and early October, leading to an increase in the hashtags #scrubtember and #scrubtober. Since then SpaceX has managed to get two , including this one on Sunday.
Aand a ULA launch of a US spy satellite remained grounded as technical problems continued.
SpaceX needs to capture the thousands of birds shining on the Internet in low Earth orbit over the next few years to meet its FCC authorization requirements. So far, more than 700 satellites have been launched and more than 60 of the oldest models are or will soon be deorbed. All of this means that SpaceX has a way to reach its true ambition of creating a mega-constellation with tens of thousands of satellites.
SpaceflightNow.com reports that Wednesday’s mission is scheduled to depart at 5:25 pm PT (8:25 am in Florida). Once the live video feed becomes available, we will add it here.