Range personnel at Cape Canaveral will employ physical distancing, face covers and other cautionary measures to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus during launch operations, the commander of the U.S. military’s 45th Space Wing said. But the next launch from Cape Canaveral has been postponed from Thursday until no earlier than next week, sources said. SpaceX is planning to fire off a Falcon 9 rocket with the next batch of Starlink Internet satellites.
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.