Hawthorne-based SpaceX was thwarted for a second day in a row On Friday, Sept. 18, in its effort to launch a rocket carrying 60 internet satellites into orbit.
The company’s planned Cape Canaveral launch of the rocket with the Starlink satellites was scrubbed “due to severe weather in the recovery area, which is likely to persist for a couple days,” according to SpaceX. As such, a new launch date was not immediately set.
An effort to launch the rocket on Thursday was scrubbed just 30 minutes before liftoff, with the company citing a “recovery issue.”
SpaceX had planned to recover the Falcon 9 rocket being used for the launch by landing it back on a barge — named “Just Read the Instructions —floating in the Atlantic Ocean, as part of its cost-cutting process of recovering the equipment for use in future missions.
The rocket being used for the satellite launch has flown two previous missions for SpaceX, including its historic launch earlier this year of two astronauts to the International Space Station.
Following the launch, SpaceX also hopes to recover the two-piece fairing, or protective nosecone, using a separate ship. One of the fairing halves was also used in a previous mission.
The mission will be the 13th to carry Starlink satellites into orbit. Nearly 700 such satellites are already circling the planet, with initial plans calling for as many as 12,000, and the ultimate array topping 40,000.
The Starlink system is designed to provide low-cost internet access in traditionally underserved areas around the world. The service is already being tested by some SpaceX employees, with public beta testing anticipated to begin later this year.