Well, folks, we’ve got a SpaceX Starlink launch update for you, and it’s got more twists and turns than a rollercoaster ride on a stormy night! Hold onto your hats because this launch is taking us on quite the journey.
So, picture this: SpaceX had big plans for tonight’s Starlink launch, but Mother Nature had other ideas. They had their sights set on 11:38 p.m. EDT, but guess what? That launch got scrubbed faster than a stain on your favorite shirt after a barbecue mishap. Why, you ask? Well, it’s all because Hurricane Lee decided to stir up a little trouble in the booster recovery zone, churning those seas like a blender on overdrive.
Now, here’s the kicker, folks – it’s 7:45 p.m. EDT, and guess where our trusty Falcon 9 is? It’s not standing tall and proud at the launch pad, oh no! It’s lounging around like it’s got all the time in the world. Maybe it’s having a chat with some seagulls, who knows?
But don’t you worry, SpaceX isn’t giving up that easily. They’re hoping to launch their 65th orbital mission of the year just after midnight. That’s right, midnight magic! But there’s a catch – that pesky hurricane-churned ocean is still causing trouble. They want to send the Falcon 9 soaring into the sky at 12:03 a.m. EDT. Fingers crossed, folks!
Now, let’s talk weather, because we’ve got the 45th Weather Squadron at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station weighing in. They say there’s a 35 percent chance of Mother Nature throwing a curveball at us with weather rule violations. Oh, the drama!
Speaking of drama, Hurricane Lee is making quite the entrance. It’s a Category 1 hurricane, flexing its muscles with winds clocking in at a whopping 90 miles per hour. But here’s the kicker – the eye of the storm is doing its own thing, way out east of Florida. But those Atlantic waters? They’re feeling the hurricane’s vibes, creating some gnarly waves east of the Bahamas. That’s where the drone ship “Just Read the Instructions” is supposed to catch our booster. Talk about a wild ride!
Space Force meteorologists tell us that booster recovery weather is a “moderate” risk, with waves dancing between 9-14 feet, then hopefully chilling out to 7-11 feet overnight. Hang on, booster!
But wait, there’s a Plan B! SpaceX says they’ve got a backup launch slot at 12:30 a.m. EDT. They’re not giving up hope, and neither should we. The next launch chance? Friday night, 11:38 p.m. EDT. But hey, local weather might decide to join the party with a 55 percent chance of rule-breaking. Booster recovery conditions? They’re feeling a tad bit better, but still, keep those fingers crossed.
Now, let’s get back to business. The Starlink 6-16 mission is sending the Falcon 9 rocket southeast from Cape Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex 40. If all goes according to plan, we’ll be seeing 22 V2 mini Starlink satellites making their grand entrance about an hour and five minutes after liftoff. The payload fairing? It made a fashionably late arrival at the launch pad, just in time for the show!
Oh, and did I mention the star of the show? The first stage booster, tail number B1078, is no rookie. It’s been on four previous flights, including the epic Crew-6 mission back in March. Talk about a veteran! And Crew Dragon Endeavor? Well, it’s back from its ISS adventure, with its four-member crew in tow.