SpaceX has delayed the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket and an Italian radar satellite for three straight days, and is now aiming to send the mission aloft Sunday evening from Cape Canaveral. The following launch on SpaceX’s schedule, set to carry Starlink internet satellites into orbit, was delayed from Sunday until Monday.
After bad weather and an errant cruise ship prevented launch on four previous days, SpaceX fired a Falcon 9 rocket into orbit Monday from Cape Canaveral with an Italian radar remote sensing satellite. Liftoff occurred at 6:11 p.m. EST (2311 GMT), and the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage booster successfully returned to Florida’s Space Coast eight minutes later for landing.
NASA will announce later this year the four astronauts who will slingshot around the far side of the moon on the Artemis lunar program’s first crew mission, currently scheduled for launch in 2024, the head of the agency’s human space exploration division recently said. The crew is expected to include three U.S. fliers and one Canadian astronaut.