Cape Canaveral, FL

Lightning Prevents SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch.

Prince Menaria

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and 54 Starlink internet satellites have been rescheduled for takeoff at 9:48 p.m. EST Tuesday, after weather and lightning prevented their launch earlier in the day. What time is the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch today? Coverage will begin at 8 p.m., so tune in before the countdown begins to watch live footage of the mission as it lifts off from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Watch online: The SpaceX rocket was ready for launch when lightning was detected near the spacecraft. For safety reasons, SpaceX scrubbed the launch and later rescheduled it for Wednesday night. The second launch attempt will take place at Cape Canaveral in Florida at 9:48 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday. Tune into NASA TV or SpaceX’s YouTube channel to watch live coverage of the launch. The mission is now scheduled for 9:48 p.m. Eastern time on July 18th.
Lightning Prevents SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch.prince

Why The Delay?

SpaceX scrubbed the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket and 54 more Starlink internet satellites Tuesday night due to lightning at Cape Canaveral. The mission has been rescheduled for 9:48 p.m. This is the first time SpaceX has delayed a launch, which they had planned on earlier in the day on Tuesday as well, because of weather considerations. This is despite their call earlier this year for all future launches to be postponed if there are any concerns with lightning in the area.Lightning is an instantaneous thing; it’s not like it was five minutes ago or 10 minutes ago, said Carl Michaud of the Aerospace Corporation in an interview with Spaceflight Now before today's scrub.

When Can I Watch The Next Launch?

While the launch has been scrubbed, SpaceX has had a remarkable run in 2019. They successfully launched their first flyback rocket and simultaneously put up 70 Starlink satellites. In April, they had another successful launch with the deployment of 60 more Starlink satellites from the first stage of a rocket. At last, it looks like our wait for space is almost over! With so many launches in such a short time frame, you might be wondering when the next launch will be. As we wait for liftoff tonight at 9:48 pm EST, here are some other upcoming launches planned by SpaceX.
While weather conditions have delayed numerous SpaceX missions in recent years, it does not look like rain or high winds will affect Tuesday night’s launch. It also seems unlikely that lightning will become an issue during today’s evening launch window due to low atmospheric pressure predicted around Florida on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. This means that – while any late-breaking delays could result in further rescheduling – we should expect tomorrow night’s flight to proceed as scheduled, barring any setbacks throughout the day and evening today that could lead to a return to scrubs until Friday or Saturday night. If weather conditions remain favorable for Wednesday evening’s expected launch window, then those hoping for photos of satellites being deployed into orbit from afar may have their chance before long!

What Does "Scrub" Mean?

A scrub is a term used in spaceflight for the cancellation of a planned launch. A launch may be scrubbed for many reasons: technical problems, weather conditions, and maintenance/reliability issues are all potential causes. If the issue cannot be resolved within a few days or weeks, then it will probably not be fixed in time and the mission will need to be cancelled or postponed indefinitely. The most recent example of this was on March 22nd, when SpaceX's first attempt at launching their new Falcon Heavy rocket was scrubbed due to wind restrictions. It had been speculated that because the Starlink satellites were relatively light-weight, they could have been launched even if lightning struck near Cape Canaveral, but SpaceX didn't want to take any chances.

What Does This Mean For My Internet Service?

The space launch scrubbed tonight was supposed to be for 54 new internet satellites, which will offer a lot more coverage and download speeds for our planet. These are in addition to the ones launched back in February. The new internet service is called Starlink, and it could improve the infrastructure of satellites orbiting our Earth from a few hundred or so to thousands. This event is on a tight schedule as SpaceX needs lightning-free conditions over the next two weeks. If they don't launch this next set of Starlink internet satellites by mid-April, they'll have difficulty getting the project completed by 2020, meaning potential lower upload speeds and limited coverage. It's great news that there's still an opportunity for continued success! The launch has been rescheduled for Tuesday night at 9:48 pm EST.

How Far Along Is This Project?

The SpaceX launch planned for Tuesday night has been scrubbed because of lightning. The mission had been scheduled for 8:30 p.m. but was postponed due to thunderstorms in the area, so lightning came as no surprise. This delay, however, does mean that the Starlink project will not be launching this evening and must now wait for the next opportunity, time and weather permitting. There are no other launch opportunities before Thursday, meaning that by then another 45 days would have passed without a successful satellite deployment from this company. Luckily, since these satellites can function on their own after deploying from the rocket, any day or time may be suitable for them depending on conditions. If we take into account how many launches SpaceX is able to complete per year and the number of satellites they plan to launch, it seems like they are doing well with the timeline up until this point. That being said, it's difficult to say what effect this latest setback will have on their plans moving forward.

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