US Space Force decides to fly on reused SpaceX Falcon 9


SpaceX plans to try again to launch its 13th cluster of Starlink communications satellites Monday from Florida.

Encapsulation of the satellite within the payload fairing protects the satellite from the impact of dynamic pressure and aerodynamic heating during its harrowing journey through the earth's atmosphere, and supports the ability to communicate with the satellite until separation from the launch vehicle on-orbit. Falcon 9 is on track to become the fastest commercial rocket in history to cross the 100-launch milestone and SpaceX is already well on its way to regularly out-launching entire countries with 20+ missions per year. Weather for the launch is at 60% "go".

The launch was originally pencilled in for Friday, September 18, but poor weather scuppered the launch.

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The Starlink-12 mission will fly to the top of the first phase of the Falcon 9 rocket, which previously launched the company's first crude dragon mission in May and later the Anasis-2 mission in July. "(They) may not be thinking about customers up in the Arctic, but we have our airplanes there".

Starlink-12 will likely be recycled for another launch attempt sometime after ULA's next Delta IV Heavy launch attempt and probably after SpaceX's own GPS III SV04 mission for the USA military, scheduled no earlier than (NET) 12:02 am EDT (04:02 UTC) and 9:55 pm EDT (01:55 UTC), September 29th, respectively.

SpaceX tweeted: "Standing down from tomorrow's launch of Starlink due to severe weather in the recovery area, which is likely to persist for a couple of days". The 15-minute launch window opens at 9:55 p.m. EDT.