SpaceX launched the next group of satellites for the company’s Starlink broadband network Wednesday at 9:25 p.m. EDT (0125 GMT Thursday) from pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The satellites rode into orbit on a Falcon 9 rocket with a first stage flown on four previous missions, and the booster made a successful fifth landing on a SpaceX drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
Gusty winds associated with a subtropical low pressure system prevented United Launch Alliance from sending an Atlas 5 rocket into orbit Saturday from Cape Canaveral with the U.S. Air Force’s clandestine X-37B spaceplane. ULA plans to try again Sunday, and a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch from a nearby pad has been delayed to Tuesday.
A new sunshade, or visor, designed to reduce the brightness of SpaceX’s Starlink broadband Internet satellites will debut on the company’s next launch, a measure intended to alleviate astronomers’ concerns about impacts on observations through ground-based telescopes, SpaceX founder Elon Musk said Monday.