March 3, 2024


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cleaning!  SpaceX paused the countdown to the launch of the Starlink Falcon 9 on Tuesday night

cleaning! SpaceX paused the countdown to the launch of the Starlink Falcon 9 on Tuesday night

UPDATES: Scroll down for live coverage of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch attempt Tuesday night. The company later announced that high winds at ground level were the cause.

Welcome to FLORIDA TODAY’s Space Team’s live coverage of the SpaceX Starlink 6-34 mission tonight from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

SpaceX is now targeting a Falcon 9 rocket launch at 11:39 PM EDT from Launch Complex 40.

However, there will be no Space Coast double launch tonight. Once again, SpaceX has postponed its attempt to launch a Falcon Heavy rocket carrying the secret Space Force X-37B orbital test vehicle until the next day. New target time: 8:13 pm Wednesday.

Tonight’s Starlink mission is scheduled to be the record-extending 69th from the Space Coast this year. The Falcon 9 rocket will lift 23 satellites into low Earth orbit, flying on a southeast trajectory.

The Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron forecast indicates there is a 65% chance of favorable weather.

Updated 11:39 PM EST: SpaceX has canceled tonight’s launch of a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

No official explanation has been released publicly.

Updated 11:34 PM EST: The SpaceX launch live stream on X (formerly Twitter) is now posted at the top of this page.

Liftoff is scheduled for five minutes from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

Updated 11:26 PM EST: Thirteen minutes before SpaceX’s scheduled Falcon 9 launch at 11:39 p.m., the countdown appears to be going as planned.

Updated at 11:15 PM EST: Refueling procedures are well underway at Launch Complex 40. Below is a list of key upcoming countdown milestones. T minus:

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  • 16 minutes: The second stage of liquid oxygen loading begins.
  • 7 minutes: The Falcon 9 begins engine cooling before launch.
  • 1 minute: The flight command computer begins final pre-launch checks; The fuel tank pressure starts until it reaches cruising pressure.
  • 45 seconds: SpaceX’s launch director checks the “go” for the launch.
  • 3 seconds: The engine control module controls the start of the engine ignition sequence.
  • 0 seconds: Falcon taking off 9.

Updated at 11:05 PM EST: Fueling procedures for the Falcon 9 rocket are now underway at Launch Complex 40.

“All systems and weather are currently ready for launch,” SpaceX announced.

This means the Starlink 6-34 mission is now committed to liftoff at 11:39 p.m., otherwise tonight’s launch must be postponed.

Updated at 10:50 PM EST: Space Florida, the state’s aerospace financing and development authority, promoted Cape’s buzzy orbital launch schedule in a tweet this morning.

“Florida Spaceports sent approximately 1,918,600 pounds of payloads into orbit in 2023,” Space Florida’s tweet said.

“We will likely reach 2 million pounds in orbit by (end of year),” the tweet read.

Updated at 10:30 PM EST: SpaceX is now targeting 11:39pm for launch.

This is 39 minutes after the original take-off target at 11 p.m.

Updated 10:20 PM EST: SpaceX just announced that it will postpone Wednesday night’s Falcon Heavy launch attempt to lift the secretive Space Force X-37B orbital test vehicle into orbit on the USSF-52 mission.

Updated at 10:15 PM EST: Tonight’s mission marks the third flight of the Falcon 9 first stage booster, which previously launched the Crew-7 and CRS-29 missions, SpaceX reports.

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more: NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 astronauts are ready for the mission to the International Space Station

After stage separation, the booster is scheduled to land on the drone ship A Shortfall of Gravitas in the Atlantic Ocean 8 minutes and 28 seconds after liftoff.

Updated 9:52 a.m. EST: SpaceX’s latest Falcon 9 rocket launched from the Cape early Thursday morning, marking the company’s 90th launch so far this year.

Then on Friday, SpaceX launched another Falcon 9 rocket on a Starlink mission from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

Tonight’s mission will bring SpaceX’s annual launch total to 92.

Updated at 9:37 PM EST: SpaceX announced in a tweet that its crew pulled out of the Falcon Heavy USSF-52 mission on Monday “due to a groundside issue,” though the vehicle and payload remained intact.

“The extra time allows teams to complete system checks before liftoff. Teams are also monitoring the weather, which is 40% favorable for launch,” SpaceX said in a tweet this afternoon.

more: Double rub! SpaceX stops taking on Falcon Heavy, Falcon 9 launches Monday

For the latest Cape launch schedule updates, visit

Rick Neil He is Florida Today’s space correspondent (for more of his stories, click here.) Call Neale at 321-242-3638 or [email protected]. Twitter/X: @Rick Neal1

Space is important to us, which is why we work to provide the highest coverage of industry and launch operations in Florida. Such journalism requires time and resources. Please support him by subscribing here.