SpaceX Gears Up for Next Starlink Satellite Megaconstellation Launch With Rocket Test

Space.com's first launch of 2020 sent 60 Starlink satellites into orbit on January 6. The company plans to launch 60 more on the Starlink-3 mission this week (image:  SpaceX).

Space.com's first launch of 2020 sent 60 Starlink satellites into orbit on January 6. The company plans to launch 60 more on the Starlink-3 mission this week (image: SpaceX).

January 22, 2020 | Source: Space, Amy Thompson, 21 January 2020

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL — SpaceX has fired up the rocket booster that will ferry the company's fourth batch of Starlink satellites into space. 

Just over 24 hours after SpaceX aced an in-flight abort test of its Crew Dragon spacecraft, the company conducted a static-fire test of a Falcon 9 rocket at Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the company said on Twitter. That rocket was expected to send 60 Starlink internet satellites into space no earlier than Tuesday (January 21), but SpaceX is now targeting launch for Friday, January 24, at 10:54 a.m. EST (1554 GMT).

The Falcon 9 rolled out of its hangar early Monday morning (January 20) and went vertical on the launch pad in advance of a planned test firing of its nine first stage engines that same day. The two-stage rocket was slated for liftoff on Tuesday morning, in what would be the third launch of the year from Cape Canaveral. However, due to rough weather conditions, SpaceX has not yet finalized the launch date.

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