SpaceX Pushes Back Starlink Satellite Launch To Feb. 21 For Further Testing

Falcon 9 was supposed to launch on February 18 from Vandenberg Air Force Base pad, sending the company's Starlink internet satellites and Paz satellite into orbit.

"Team at Vandenberg is taking additional time to perform final checkouts of upgraded fairing".

The primary mission on Wednesday is the launch of the PAZ satellite to low Earth orbit. Payload and vehicle remain healthy.

The fairing is basically the shell at the top of the rocket that protects whatever cargo's being launched (for instance, it housed the Tesla Roadster and SpaceX's Starman mannequin during the recent Falcon Heavy test launch). SpaceX proved that rockets could be like airplanes - no need to throw them out after a flight.

While they continue to work on fairing recovery, Wednesday's rocket launch already embody the successful recoveries made by SpaceX. This is a synthetic aperture radar satellite that can generate high-resolution images of the Earth's surface, regardless of whether there are clouds covering the ground.

A spectacle occurred on December 22 when a Falcon 9 lifted off shortly after sunset in exceptionally clear weather and reached an altitude where its expanding plume was illuminated by sunlight. The Falcon 9 rocket a previously flown first stage booster that also launched the Taiwanese Formosat-5 satellite in August 2017.

SpaceX had planned to launch two demonstration satellites into space Saturday from Vandenberg, but then it rescheduled for Sunday.

Dedicated astronomy enthusiast Ben Pearson created WhereIsRoadster.com, which tracks Starman's position in real-time based on the car's calculated trajectory as it swings around the sun for millions of years to come. If SpaceX can recycle key components of a launch, subsequent launches will be significantly cheaper. What about the delay?

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