June 21, 2024
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SpaceX scraps a Memorial Day Starlink launch and aims for Tuesday – Spaceflight Now

A Falcon 9 is ready for a Starlink mission at Pad 40 at Cape Canaveral. File photo: Adam Bernstein/Spaceflight Now.

Update 10:53 a.m. EDT: SpaceX cleared the launch on May 27.

SpaceX scrubbed the Falcon 9 launch on Memorial Day morning shortly before 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC). The company did not indicate the reason for the delay, but they did not bring the rocket to a vertical position until after 6 a.m. EDT (1000 UTC) and it typically takes about 4.5 hours between then and launch at the earliest.

When launched, the Starlink 6-60 mission will add another 23 spacecraft to the company's growing mega-constellation of Internet relay satellites, which serves more than three million customers. The Falcon 9 rocket will now lift off from pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 7:30 a.m. EDT (1130 UTC) on Tuesday.

Spaceflight Now will have live coverage approximately one hour before takeoff.

The Falcon 9 first stage booster, tail number B1078 in SpaceX's fleet, will launch for the 10th time. Its previous launches included the Crew-6 astronaut mission to the International Space Station; USSF-124, SpaceX's second mission under the National Security Space Launch (NSSL) Phase 2 contract; and six Starlink missions.

Just over eight minutes after liftoff, B1078 is ready to land on the SpaceX spacecraft, 'A Shortfall of Gravitas'. If successful, it will be the 72nd boost landing for ASOG and the 313th boost landing for SpaceX to date.

The mission will also be SpaceX's 55th Falcon 9 launch of the year, bringing the company to a launch rate of one Falcon flight every 2.7 days on average. At this rate, they would be launched 135 times by the end of the year, approaching the goal of 144 launches set by Bill Gerstenmaier during his testimony before the US Senate Commerce Committee in October 2023.

However, the pace has been accelerating as the year progresses, as evidenced by the number of releases per month:

  • January – 10
  • February – 9
  • March 12
  • April 12th
  • May – 11 (starting May 23)

In a post on

The day after the launch of the Starlink 6-60 mission, SpaceX is set to launch the European Space Agency's Earth Cloud Aerosol and Radiation Explorer (EarthCARE) satellite into a sun-synchronous polar orbit. A 14th Falcon 9 launch is very likely to be another Starlink flight from Florida.

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