21 February, 2018
It appears SpaceX just delayed the launch of its Falcon 9 rocket - the one to carry Starlink satellite prototypes into space - to February 21, citing further testing as the reason behind the rescheduled launch.
According to the post by SpaceX, more time is necessary in order to "perform final checkouts of upgraded fairing". "Due to mission requirements, now targeting February 21 launch of PAZ".
The Falcon Heavy mission had a pretty precious payload - Musk's Roadster and its dummy passenger named Starman. SpaceX didn't publicly speak about the Starlink prototypes, although it revealed their presence on the Falcon 9 rockets in Federal Communications Commission filings.
A delayed SpaceX launch is set to blast off Wednesday morning at 7:17 Arizona time.
SpaceX has a good reason to want to recover the Falcon 9's payload fairing. A single fairing costs $6 million so reusing it multiple times will significantly reduce the cost of each launch for the company and subsequently for its clients.
The total cost of a Falcon 9 launch is estimated to be about $61 million. They also will conduct further testing of the rocket's fairing, which is the section at the tip of the rocket which costs $5 million and deploys the rocket's payload, according to a report in Space.com.
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How do we know all this?
SpaceX's Dragon 2 capsule was used by NASA to send cargo to the International Space Station.
Falcon 9 is one of SpaceX line of reusable rockets, which represent a revolution in the space industry.
The payload fairings are clam shell-like nose cone halves that protect the craft's payload. His company has demonstrated the ability to do so time and again by landing and reusing rocket boosters and its Dragon spacecraft.
The next SpaceX Falcon 9 mission is scheduled for Wednesday (Feb. 21).
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai proposed the approval of an application by SpaceX to provide broadband services using satellites in the United States and worldwide.