SpaceX launched the first in a series of small satellite rideshare missions Sunday from Cape Canaveral, providing transportation for 143 U.S. and international spacecraft to low Earth orbit, a record number of satellites on a single flight. Liftoff occurred at 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT) Sunday after bad weather forced SpaceX to scrub a launch attempt Saturday morning.
An annual meeting of planetary scientists near Houston has been canceled due to concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, and NASA has instructed its 1,200 employees at a field center in California to work from home until further notice after a worker there tested positive for the illness. But a major satellite industry conference in Washington is going ahead as planned this week.
NASA has announced a one-day delay in SpaceX’s next cargo launch until Wednesday to allow time for ground teams to replace moldy food bars meant for 40 mice heading for the International Space Station as part of a biological research experiment, denying the launch company a chance at two Falcon 9 missions on back-to-back days.