NASA has selected 14 companies for contracts of more than $370 million to advance technology for human missions to the moon and Mars. Most of the money will support flight demonstrations by SpaceX, United Launch Alliance, and other companies that could lead to in-space refueling and propellant depots for reusable lunar landers and deep space transportation vehicles.
An unexpected reading from a ground sensor prompted SpaceX to scrub the planned launch of a Falcon 9 rocket Thursday with 60 more Starlink broadband satellites. It was the second last-minute abort of a rocket launch on Florida’s Space Coast in less than 10 hours, following a hold Wednesday night just before engines ignited on a United Launch Alliance Delta 4-Heavy rocket.
SpaceX launched 60 more Starlink satellites from the Kennedy Space Center at 7:29 a.m. EDT (1129 GMT) Tuesday aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. Meanwhile, the launch of another SpaceX rocket a few miles away with a GPS satellite has been postponed indefinitely after a countdown abort moments before liftoff Friday night.
Two SpaceX rockets are standing on launch pads several miles apart on Florida’s Space Coast awaiting launch opportunities Thursday and Friday, once an oft-delayed Delta 4-Heavy rocket from rival United Launch Alliance is able to blast off from Cape Canaveral with a top secret U.S. government spy satellite.