Falcon Nine rocket blast-off postponed

Sabc News Falcon Nine rocket Reuters - Falcon Nine rocket blast-off postponed

South African born tech billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX has postponed a planned night blast-off of a Falcon Nine rocket carrying the first 60 satellites for his new Star-link internet service.

SpaceX cites excessive winds over the Florida launch site in the US.

The mission is intended to place the initial stage of Musk’s space-based global internet network into low-Earth orbit.

Each satellite in the first Star-link launch weighs over 200 kilogrammes making this the heaviest SpaceX payload to date.

At least 12 launches carrying similar payloads are needed to achieve constant internet coverage of most of the world, Musk said.

Starlink is only currently authorized for operations in the United States.

In February, Airbus SE-backed OneWeb launched its own clutch of satellites, while LeoSat Enterprises and Canada’s Telesat are also working to build data networks.

In each plan, the tiny satellites orbit closer to Earth than traditional communications satellites, a radical shift made possible by leaps in laser technology and computer chips.

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