SpaceX continued its busy weekend, launching another batch of Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station late Saturday night. The Falcon 9 launch occurred at 11:00 PM ET (0400 UTC).
Overcoming weather obstacles, the Starlink 6-31 mission achieved its second launch in less than 40 hours. U.S. Space Force meteorologists were tracking a 45% chance of acceptable conditions for launch, with the biggest concern being the possibility of rocket lightning from thick cloud layers and cumulus clouds. They also listed a low to moderate risk of upper-level wind shear posing a threat.
SpaceX postponed the launch from Friday night. No explanation was given, but as of Saturday morning, the Falcon 9 had not appeared on the launch pad.
The first stage booster for this launch, tail number B1078, is on its sixth flight since it first launched the Crew 6 mission to the International Space Station on March 2, 2023. The O3b mPOWER 3 and 4 satellites were also launched. As his three missions in Starlink.
Approximately eight and a half minutes after liftoff, it will land on the drone ship “A Shortfall of Gravitas” in the Atlantic Ocean. According to SpaceX, this is the 251st landing of an orbital-class rocket. korea 425 missionFriday’s landing at Vandenberg Space Force Base’s Landing Zone 4 honored landing number 250.
A recovery vessel named “Doug” retrieves half of the payload fairing after it falls into a drop of water.
The 23 satellites for SpaceX’s Starlink network will be deployed from the Falcon 9’s second stage about an hour and five minutes into flight.
Launches from Pad 40 aren’t the only SpaceX activities on the Space Coast. Since Saturday morning, crews have been busy unwinding a Falcon Heavy rocket from its hangar at Launch Complex 39A to the launch pad.
The operation will pave the way for Sunday’s static fire test. USSF-52 Mission The launch is scheduled for one week later, on December 10th. This will be the first time a Falcon Heavy will be used to launch a U.S. military X-37B spaceplane. The release date has not been announced.