SpaceX forced to delay its eighth Starlink launch until Tuesday

SpaceX is planning to launch a rocket with another batch of 60 internet-supporting Starlink satellites.

The launch was scheduled for Sunday, May 17 at 12:53 a.m. PT, but was scrubbed shortly before.  The launch has been delayed until Tuesday May 19 at 12:10 p.m. PT due to weather conditions.

The Starlink payload will fly aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. It will mark SpaceX’s eighth Starlink satellite mission.

Since May of last year, the company has launched a total of 422 satellites into low-Earth orbits, and Sunday’s launch will bring that total to 482. The previous batch launched on April 22.

SpaceX

SpaceX is planning to launch batches of 60 satellites every two to three weeks over the next year. Eventually, SpaceX’s satellite total could reach more than 40,000, according to Space.com. 

In the company’s own words, the $10 billion Starlink satellite project aims to “deploy the world’s most advanced broadband internet system” to provide “fast, reliable internet to locations where access has been unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable.” 

However, astronomers and researchers have criticized the project, saying the light reflecting off the satellites disrupts observations of the night sky. SpaceX recently announces changes to future Starlink satellites to address the concerns.

Updated May 17, 2020: Updated with information about launch delay.

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