HAWTHORNE (CBSLA) — SpaceX scrubbed the launch of its Starlink satellite Thursday morning due to a sensor reading, the company said.
The Cape Canaveral launch was canceled just 18 seconds before liftoff.
“Standing down from today’s Starlink mission due to an out of family ground system sensor reading,” the Hawthorne-based company announced. SpaceX noted that it “will announce a new target launch date once confirmed on the Range.”
SpaceX had planned to launch two rockets in as many days, beginning with Thursday’s internet-satellite mission.
The company made multiple attempts to launch the 60 Starlink satellites into orbit in mid-September, but the missions were delayed due to bad weather on the East Coast generated by Hurricane Sally.
Thursday’s attempt, scheduled for launch at 6:17 a.m. California time, would have been the 13th mission to carry Starlink satellites into orbit.
Nearly 700 such satellites are already circling the planet, with initial plans calling for as many as 12,000, and the ultimate array topping 40,000.
The Starlink system is designed to provide low-cost internet access in traditionally underserved areas around the world. The service is already being tested by some SpaceX employees, with public beta testing anticipated to begin later this year.
SpaceX is scheduled to launch a U.S. Space Force GPS satellite into orbit on Friday at 6:43 p.m., but it was unclear if that liftoff will move forward.
If successful, Friday’s U.S. Space Force launch will be the third National Security Space Launch by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)