Falcon 9 Camera Issues Prompt SpaceX to Postpone Starlink Launch

Issues with an upper stage camera prompted SpaceX to postpone its latest Starlink mission.
Image credit: SpaceX

SpaceX has postponed its latest Starlink mission after an issue with an upper stage camera was discovered. The launch, which has not yet been rescheduled, was expected to carry 60 Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit.

The thirteenth Starlink mission of 2020 was expected to be launched from Cape Canaveral at 16:14 UTC on October 22. Within just 30 minutes of liftoff, SpaceX tweeted that it had chosen to stand down from the launch attempt stating that teams required additional time for “mission assurance work.”

In response to the tweet, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk commented that the launch had been postponed due to the loss of an upper stage camera. Musk continued to state that it is unlikely to be anything serious but that they had chosen to stand down to re-examine the whole vehicle.

Today’s postponement is the latest in a series that has dogged SpaceX over the last month. A last-second Falcon 9 scrub suffered in October has even prompted NASA to postpone the launch of the first operational Crew Dragon mission, Crew-1.

SpaceX began building the Starlink constellation in 2018 with the launch of two prototype satellites that hitched a ride aboard the Paz Earth observation mission. Since then, the company has launched a total of 835 satellites making it the world’s largest constellation by some margin.

Once complete, the Starlink constellation will offer worldwide high-speed broadband access.

Andrew Parsonson is a space enthusiast and the founder of Rocket Rundown. He has worked as a journalist and blogger for various industries for over 5 years and has a passion for both fictional and real-life space travel. Currently, Andrew is the primary writer for Rocket Rundown as we look to expand our reach and credibility.