Strong winds forced SpaceX to call off its first Starlink satellite launch, which it hopes to launch today instead

SpaceX was forced to call off its highly-anticipated Starlink satellite launch due to strong winds in Earth’s upper atmosphere, and has rescheduled to launch the rocket later on Thursday instead.

The rocket company, founded by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, was supposed to launch a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

But around 15 minutes before the scheduled lift off, SpaceX called the mission off due to strong winds in the upper level of the atmosphere.

SpaceX stuffed a fleet of 60 Starlink internet-providing satellites into the nosecone of a Falcon 9 rocket for launch in May 2019.
Elon Musk/SpaceX via Twitter

The company tweeted: “Standing down today due to excess upper level winds. Teams are working toward tomorrow’s backup launch window, which opens at 10:30 p.m. EDT.”

It then postponed the launch by 24 hours. The new launch window is from 10:30 p.m. Thursday to midnight.

Read more: Here’s how the ambitious Starlink project would work.

SpaceX was meant to rocket the first 60 of nearly 12,000 satellites into orbit as part of its goal to cover the world in high-speed internet.

The Starlink payload is 230 feet high and weighs 18.5 tons, making it the heaviest load the company has ever attempted to launch.

Musk told reporters on Wednesday, according to Business Insider’s Dave Mosher: “I do believe we will be successful, but it is far from a sure thing.”

Read more: Elon Musk just showed off 60 of the first SpaceX satellites that could change the internet as we know it

SpaceX plans to complete Starlink in 2027. In its final form, it is supposed to comprise nearly 12,000 satellites in several orbital “shells” surrounding Earth.

The goal is to use Starlink to relay internet traffic at close to the speed of light.

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