SpaceX plans to launch its next group of Starlink broadband satellites aboard a Falcon 9 rocket as soon as Tuesday, Jan. 21, from Cape Canaveral, two days after the company is scheduled to launch a modified Falcon 9 booster from a separate facility at the Florida spaceport to test the Crew Dragon spaceship’s emergency escape system.
SpaceX test-fired a Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral on Saturday evening, clearing the way for a delayed liftoff with the Israeli-owned Amos 17 commercial communications satellite as soon as Tuesday, assuming SpaceX can work its way into a busy schedule before a previously-planned Atlas 5 launch this week on the U.S. Air Force’s Eastern Range.
Relativity Space’s co-founder and chief executive says his company is working on innovations in manufacturing and rocket technology, and plans to use 3D printing at unprecedented scale in the space industry to ease access to space for a range of satellite operators, joining a fray of smallsat launchers saturating the market.
NASA and the U.S. Air Force are expected to return to normal operations Tuesday after lawmakers passed a budget bill Monday evening, ending a government funding lapse that threatened to cut off live television coverage of an International Space Station spacewalk and interrupt SpaceX launch operations in Florida and California.
After making landfall in South Florida, Hurricane Irma moved north over the state before losing strength and being downgraded to a tropical storm. NASA safety officials report the Kennedy Space Center lost electricity and water pressure during the storm, but a team of emergency personnel at the spaceport is safe.