Weather looks good for this weekend's early SpaceX launch from Cape Canaveral
Weather conditions around Cape Canaveral are likely to be favorable for SpaceX's next Starlink launch attempt this weekend, the Space Force said Friday.
Barring any sudden changes, Space Coast-based forecasters said conditions should be 80% "go" for the 2:42 a.m. Sunday liftoff of a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 40. Cumulus clouds were noted as a possible concern.
"It is possible that there will be some cumulus clouds out over the water during the launch attempt," the 45th Weather Squadron said. "At this time, these clouds do not appear to pose a significant threat for liftoff."
Sunday's window is instantaneous, meaning SpaceX must launch right on time at 2:42 a.m. or delay the mission to another day. A second opportunity is available around 2:20 a.m. Monday, but conditions that day drop slightly to 70% "go."
After liftoff, the rocket's 162-foot first stage will target a landing on the Just Read the Instructions drone ship, then return to Port Canaveral for checkouts and refurbishment.
Sunday's launch marks the 27th mission for the Starlink constellation, now encircling Earth with some 1,500-plus satellites. SpaceX recently said the internet service has received about 500,000 pre-orders in regions ranging from the high latitudes of North America to Europe and the United Kingdom.
The company ultimately hopes to offer worldwide service to customers in areas where internet infrastructure is lacking or nonexistent. The Department of Defense has expressed interest in the network, too, and is conducting small-scale tests for the Air Force and Army.
Beyond this weekend, United Launch Alliance is still targeting Monday, May 17, for the launch of an Atlas V rocket from Complex 41. That mission will take a military communications satellite, known as SBIRS GEO Flight 5, to orbit at 1:35 p.m.
Launch Sunday, May 9
- Rocket: SpaceX Falcon 9
- Mission: 27th Starlink launch
- Launch Time: 2:42 a.m. ET
- Launch Complex: 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station
- Landing: Drone ship
- Weather: 80% "go"
Quelle: Florida Today
Start von SpaceX’s 26th Starlink v1.0 mission and 27th Starlink launch
Überflug von Europa, rechts die Alpen