A launch of the Starlink satellites and two BlackSky satellites had been due to take place from Florida tonight. A new date has not yet been set. SpaceX tweeted: “Standing down from today’s Starlink mission; team needed additional time for pre-launch checkouts, but Falcon 9 and the satellites are healthy.
“Will announce new target launch date once confirmed on the Range.”
The ‘Range’ is understood to refer to the Eastern Range.
This is part of the United States Space Force and oversees launches from Florida.
Another SpaceX launch is scheduled for June 30.
A previous Starlink launch
A different Falcon 9 will carry an upgraded GPS satellite from Space Launch Complex 40.
Falcon 9 rockets are powered by the Merlin engines, also developed by Space X.
The first Falcon 9 launch occurred in 2010.
NASA and the Canadian Space Agency have been customers of previous Falcon 9 launches.
SpaceX was first founded in 2002 by Elon Musk.
The aim of the company is to reduce space transportation costs and facilitate the eventual human colonisation of Mars.
Mr Musk explained to an audience at South by Southwest: “The way I got into space was, I was really disappointed we hadn’t sent anyone to Mars.
“We hadn’t expanded beyond Apollo.
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Mr Musk says he was disappointed by the lack of travel to Mars
“I kept waiting, year after year.
“A friend asked me what I wanted to do after PayPal.
“I said I was always curious about space.”
Changes over time in the NASA Budget
“I went to NASA’s website to see when we were going to Mars, but I couldn’t find that out.
“So then I thought perhaps this is a matter of will.
“Is there a sufficient will to [go to Mars]?
“The first idea I had was to send a small greenhouse to Mars — the first life on another planet, the furthest life has ever travelled.
“That would get people excited.
“The whole purpose of that was to get people excited about sending people to Mars and increase NASA’s budget.”