United Launch Alliance and Boeing teams worked through the weekend on closeouts of the Starliner crew capsule, inspections and final outfitting of the Atlas 5 rocket. A launch readiness review Tuesday approved the continuation of final preparations for liftoff from Cape Canaveral Friday of the first Starliner spacecraft on an unpiloted test flight to the International Space Station.
Weather conditions at the surface will likely be favorable for the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket Wednesday from Cape Canaveral, but upper level winds may pose a roadblock for the start of the company’s next space station resupply mission. SpaceX is targeting liftoff of the Falcon 9 from pad 40 at 12:51 p.m. EST (1751 GMT) Wednesday.
After a four-day delay due to a ground power supply anomaly and unfavorable weather, an Ariane 5 rocket lifted off at 4:23 p.m. EST (2123 GMT) Tuesday to send into orbit a hush-hush communications satellite for the Egyptian military and a spacecraft to expand the capacity of Inmarsat’s mobile Internet service.
SpaceX’s first launch since August took off from Cape Canaveral at 9:56 a.m. EST (1456 GMT) to carry 60 broadband satellites into orbit for the company’s Starlink network. The Starlink satellites rode together on top of a Falcon 9 rocket with a previously-flown first stage and a reused payload fairing.
SpaceX test-fired a Falcon 9 rocket Tuesday at Cape Canaveral for the company’s next launch, which is set for takeoff Monday at around 9:56 a.m. EST (1456 GMT). The rocket will launch with the next batch of SpaceX’s Starlink broadband satellites, the company’s first launch since early August. There is an 80 percent chance of favorable weather for launch Monday.
A Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo ship arrive at the International Space Station Monday carrying around 4.1 tons of supplies, experiments and small research CubeSats. The automated spacecraft was captured by the station’s robotic arm at 4:10 a.m. EST (0910 GMT) Monday to close out a two-day flight from a launch pad in Virginia.