SpaceX scrubs Starlink launch attempt for third day in a row

Watch a replay of our coverage of the third launch attempt Sept .15 for SpaceX’s Starlink 4-34 mission at Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The countdown Sept. 13 was scrubbed due to lightning. The Starlink 4-34 mission will launch SpaceX’s next batch of 54 Starlink broadband satellites. Follow us on Twitter.

Replay of Sept. 15 launch attempt

For the third day running, bad weather at Cape Canaveral forced SpaceX to call off a countdown Thursday night at Cape Canaveral, delaying again the company’s next Falcon 9 rocket launch with 54 more Starlink internet satellites.

Unacceptable cloud cover and the threat of lightning have been persistent in the evenings all week on Florida’s Space Coast. SpaceX’s launch team scrubbed the first countdown for the Falcon 9 rocket Tuesday night just before starting to load liquid propellants into the launch vehicle. Another countdown Wednesday night was scrubbed before tanking.

SpaceX’s launch team fully loaded kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants into the Falcon 9 Thursday night in hopes weather might become favorable for launch. But the bad weather stuck around, forcing officials to halt the countdown at T-minus 30 seconds.

After Thursday night’s scrub, SpaceX rescheduled the liftoff of the Falcon 9 rocket for 9:05 p.m. EDT Friday (0105 GMT Saturday). That’s the next instantaneous launch opportunity to send the 54 Starlink internet satellites to a specific orbital plane in SpaceX’s Starlink constellation, which provides high-speed, low-latency broadband service to more than 40 countries and territories around the world.

SpaceX is adding more satellites to the Starlink fleet to expand the network’s capacity, allowing it to deliver service to more regions of the world. SpaceX has launch nearly 3,300 Starlink satellites to date, with more than 3,000 of the satellites currently in space.

The Starlink 4-34 mission will mark the 176th flight of a Falcon 9 rocket, the 42nd Falcon 9 launch of the year, and the third Falcon 9 mission this month. It will be the 61st SpaceX mission primarily devoted to deploying Starlink internet satellites.

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.