NASA officials gave the green light Friday for the first all-commercial astronaut launch to the International Space Station on a SpaceX rocket as soon as April 3. But the astronaut launch could be delayed a day, or longer, to give priority to a countdown test for NASA’s Space Launch System moon rocket on a neighboring launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center.
Fifty-three more of SpaceX’s Starlink internet satellites rode into orbit atop a Falcon 9 rocket after midnight Saturday from Cape Canaveral. The reusable Falcon 9 booster completed its 12th successful mission to space, making it the fleet-leader in SpaceX’s inventory. Liftoff occurred at 12:42 a.m. EDT (0442 GMT).