SpaceX scrubs Saturday’s launch of 143 satellites, saying it would try again Sunday

  • SpaceX said on Saturday it scrubbed its launch of 143 satellites.
  • “Due to unfavourable weather, we are standing down from today’s launch,” Elon Musk’s company said on Twitter.
  • The launch is now scheduled for Sunday, January 24, at 10 a.m. on the East Coast, the company said.
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Elon Musk’s SpaceX on Saturday said it had scrubbed its plan to launch a rocket with 143 satellites and other payload, adding that it would try again Sunday.

“Due to unfavourable weather, we are standing down from today’s launch,” the company posted on Twitter.

The company said it would move its Falcon 9 launch of Transporter-1 to January 24 “with a 22-minute window opening at 10:00 a.m EST.”

Saturday’s launch in Florida had a 42-minute window, opening at 9:40 a.m. on the East Coast, according to the company’s launch website. On board were 133 commercial and government satellites along with 10 Starlink satellites.

Saturday’s launch would have been “the most spacecraft ever deployed on a single mission,” the company said, surpassing the previous 104-satellites launched in 2017 by India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle.

The latest SpaceX mission comes after Wednesday’s successful launch of 60 Starlink satellites, a small portion of the 42,000 satellites SpaceX plans to launch to create a superfast global broadband service.

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That launch was also delayed because of unfavourable weather conditions. SpaceX in January also delayed a launch for its Starship rocket prototype, after its first attempt exploded on the landing pad.

On Friday, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said he was excited for the launch, which is part of a new ride-share program to provide small satellite operators affordable access to space.

“Launching many small satellites for a wide range of customers tomorrow,” he wrote on Twitter. “Excited about offering low-cost access to orbit for small companies!”