SpaceX stood down from the planned Saturday, July 11th launch attempt of the company’s tenth Starlink mission to allow more time for checkouts.
The team is working to identify the next earliest launch opportunity and will announce a new target date once that date has been confirmed with the Range.
This launch was to place 57 Starlink satellites and two BlackSky Global Earth Observing (EO) satellites to orbit from the Florida launch facility. A veteran Falcon 9 that already has four flights to its credit and is monikered “B1051” by SpaceX was scheduled to make this event the fifth trip to space.
This Falcon 9’s first stage previously supported Crew Dragon’s first demonstration mission to the International Space Station, launch of the RADARSAT Constellation Mission as well as the fourth and seventh Starlink missions.
Following stage separation, SpaceX was planning to land the Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, which is stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
The BlackSky Global smallsats were scheduled to deploy sequentially starting 1 hour and 1 minute after liftoff and then the Starlink satellites were to deploy approximately 1 hour and 32 minutes after liftoff.
Starlink satellites are to be deployed in a circular orbit, as was done on the first through fourth Starlink missions. Additionally, all Starlink satellites on this flight are equipped with a deployable visor to block sunlight from hitting the brightest spots of the spacecraft — a measure SpaceX has taken as part of the company’s work with leading astronomical groups to mitigate satellite reflectivity.