SpaceX calls off launch of satellites

Watch SpaceX launch a twice-used rocket tomorrow at 1:31PM ET

Prior to the cancellation, the Falcon 9 rocket was scheduled for liftoff at 10.32am PST on Sunday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Sunday morning's launch attempt was postponed to allow for additional inspections of the rocket's second stage.

For SpaceX, the mission, called SSO-A, marked its 19th launch of 2018, surpassing its previous annual record of 18 launches past year. The launch is now postponed until at least December 3 for "additional inspections". However, the ministry cited adverse weather conditions as the reason for the delay. The first stage landed on the company's drone ship, called Just Read the Instructions, stationed in the Pacific Ocean about seven minutes later.

Falcon 9 will be carrying 64 satellites belonging to companies, governments and research institutions in 17 different countries.

A Falcon 9 launches to orbit for an unprecedented third time.

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The mission is billed as the "largest dedicated rideshare mission on a US launch vehicle".

The same booster was used in the first Block 5 launch (the final version of the Falcon 9 created to fly up to 100 times) in May and then again in August. These new satellite networks could help companies track agricultural shipments or support pipeline monitoring efforts.

While SpaceX webcast hosts and company engineers Laura Lyons and Kate Tice didn't specifically mention the possibility, it's very likely that - should post-recovery inspections uncover no major surprises - Falcon 9 B1046's successful third launch and landing could pave the way for a future of 4, 5, 6, or more launches as 2018 comes to a close and 2019 nears the horizon.

"Most of the start-ups are planning to eventually have constellations of between 60 and 100 satellites", Wired reported.

That means that the same Falcon 9 booster could conduct two launches in the same day.

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