Science & Technology



SpaceX launches 69th orbital flight of the year with Canaveral liftoff

Richard Tribou, Orlando Sentinel on

Published in Science & Technology News

ORLANDO, Fla. — A SpaceX Falcon 9 took off from the 39th time from Cape Canaveral this year, marking the 49th SpaceX flight from the Space Coast and 69th orbital mission among all of its launch sites.

The rocket lifted off from Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 10 p.m. Friday after poor weather conditions delayed earlier attempts.

The first-stage booster made its 10th flight once again making a recovery landing on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas in the Atlantic Ocean.

SpaceX has flown all but three of the Space Coast’s 52 missions this year, with Relativity Space adding one and United Launch Alliance managing two more.

ULA, though, may have the next launch on tap as it announced a target liftoff of next Friday for an Atlas V rocket from neighboring Space Launch Complex 41 with a launch window that opens at 2 p.m.


Its payload is Amazon’s first two test Project Kuiper satellites, which open the floodgates for ULA launches on a much more regular basis as Amazon has purchased eight more Atlas rockets as well as 38 missions on its in-development Vulcan Centaur, which would together launch more than half of its planned 3,236 satellite constellation that would compete with the likes of SpaceX’s Starlink.

SpaceX also has a major launch on tap in early October, but NASA announced it had pushed the planned liftoff of its Psyche probe mission on a Falcon Heavy from Kennedy Space Center from Oct. 5 to no earlier than Oct. 12 at 10:16 a.m.

The window to launch that probe that has a yearslong trip ahead to explore the metal-rich asteroid also named Psyche runs through Oct. 23.

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