SpaceX postpones Starlink satellite launch again, for ‘about a week’

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FILE PHOTO: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket (in center, in a horizontal position), is readied for launch on a supply mission to the International Space Station on historic launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., February 17, 2017. REUTERS/Joe Skipper/File Photo

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) – A SpaceX launch already scrubbed once due to inclement weather was postponed again nearly 24 hours later on Thursday, this time for “about a week,” in order to update satellite software and “triple-check everything,” Elon Musk’s rocket company said.

The delayed mission is designed to carry into low-Earth orbit an initial batch of 60 satellites for Musk’s new Starlink global internet service, a venture intended to generate cash for the rest of the billionaire entrepreneur’s space exploration ambitions.

The Falcon 9 rocket and its satellite cargo were originally set to blast off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Wednesday night, but the flight was postponed by Space X, citing excessive winds over the launch site.

The launch was rescheduled for Thursday night, and SpaceX said in a midday Twitter message that the “Starlink and Falcon 9 are looking good” and that “winds are better for tonight’s launch.” Hours later, however, the company tweeted that the mission was being delayed.

“Standing down to update satellite software and triple-check everything again,” the company said. “Always want to do everything we can on the ground to maximize mission success. Next launch opportunity in about a week.”

No further elaboration was provided to reporters at the Cape.

Reporting by Joey Roulette in Cape Canaveral, Florida; Writing and additional reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Sandra Maler

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