SpaceX launches first polar launch from Florida in 60 years

REUTERS  Joe Skipper REUTERS  Joe Skipper

REUTERS Joe Skipper REUTERS Joe Skipper

A Falcon 9 rocket had been scheduled to carry the 60 satellites today from NASA's Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral in Florida, but SpaceX announced the launch was being pushed back due to bad weather.

This was originally set to be one of two launches that SpaceX was going to perform on Sunday - both from the same launch facility, though at different pads.

"Targeting launch of SAOCOM 1B at 7:18 p.m. EDT tonight".

The key danger position for SpaceX was shortly soon after get off as the Falcon 9 skirted the Florida coastline. By adding a "dogleg" maneuver to tweak its trajectory mid-flight, Falcon 9 will theoretically be able to minimize the risk of a similar accident occurring while still recovering the rocket booster and (perhaps) its payload fairing halves.

Liftoff was at 10:31 a.m. ET from SpaceX's launch site at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

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The rocket is to deliver an Argentine remote sensing satellite into orbit.

In the US, Elon Musk's SpaceX has launched a Falcon 9 rocket into Earth's polar orbit from Cape Canaveral, Florida, CBS reports. "Next launch opportunity is Tuesday, September 1 at 9:29 a.m. EDT, pending Range acceptance", SpaceX said on Twitter.

The satellite is part of a two-satellite system. The first stage detached before it encountered any more land, but the second stage did fly over Cuba briefly.

SpaceX initially planned to launch SAOCOM 1B from Vandenberg, but sought permission to move the flight to Cape Canaveral to ease ground processing issues. The AFTS is created to quickly terminate a flight if an impending catastrophic problem is detected. This is ideal for Earth observatories like SAOCOM because a polar orbit allows the spacecraft to see the entire surface of the planet over time as it rotates. The Starlink constellation will eventually consist of thousands of satellites created to provide world wide high-speed internet service.

SpaceX has launched almost 600 satellites so far for its Starlink project, which aims to build a constellation of satellites capable of providing Internet coverage from orbit. "So this is very important information".

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