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SpaceX retools problem booster for overnight launch from Space Coast

SpaceX
Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

SpaceX is rolling a booster that was part of a scrubbed launch attempt last month back to the launch pad for an early morning mission on the Space Coast.

A Falcon 9 rocket on the Starliner 8-9 carrying 20 Starlink satellites including 13 with direct-to-cell capabilities aims for liftoff from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station's Space Launch Complex 40 at 2:57 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday during a window that lasts until 5:59 a.m.

Space Launch Delta 45's weather squadron forecasts an 80% chance for good conditions. Additional opportunities fall to Sunday, July 7, during a window that opens at 12:28 a.m.

This is the 16th flight of the first-stage booster, which was previously on the pad for the Starlink 10-3 mission, but was changed out after an issue when it hit T-0 during a on June 14.

The flight eventually took off with a new booster while SpaceX reconfigured this for Wednesday morning's attempt. SpaceX never revealed the reason behind the scrub or the switch.

It will attempt a landing downrange on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas stationed in the Atlantic.

The launch is the 49th from the Space Coast for 2024, with all but three flown by SpaceX.

United Launch Alliance has flown the others, and announced its next attempt will be an Atlas V on the USSF-51 mission for the Space Force targeting no earlier than July 30. It's one of 16 remaining Atlas V rockets for ULA as it transitions to its new Vulcan Centaur, which debuted in January for the company's first launch in 2024.

Vulcan is the replacement for both Atlas V and the Delta IV family of rockets. The final Delta IV Heavy flew in April. Its second Vulcan launch, called Cert-2, is targeting early September in an effort to get the Space Force to sign off on the rocket and allow for two more scheduled national security missions assigned to Vulcan to fly before the end of the year.

ULA President and CEO Tory Bruno said recently ULA is still targeting eight flights for 2024, which will grow to as many as 20 on the manifest in 2025.

2024 Orlando Sentinel. Visit orlandosentinel.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Citation: SpaceX retools problem booster for overnight launch from Space Coast (2024, July 3) retrieved 15 July 2024 from https://phys.org/news/2024-07-spacex-retools-problem-booster-overnight.html
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