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May 19th, 2020

With the SpaceX Starlink Mission Delayed, Next Up... the Launch of the Astronauts

Florida Today Space Report, Emre Kelly

Reporter Emre Kelly has filed a story at FLORIDA TODAY that it's official — the Space Coast's next launch will have astronauts on board.

Due to the impacts of Tropical Storm Arthur, SpaceX confirmed on Monday that its planned Tuesday flight of 60 Starlink satellites will have to wait until after astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley launch from Kennedy Space Center on May 27. Starlink had been scheduled to launch at 3:10 a.m.

The tropical storm had already caused issues for SpaceX's recovery fleet, which had to shift around the Atlantic Ocean several times and seek shelter. The vessels, one of which includes the Of Course I Still Love You drone ship, are responsible for hosting Falcon 9 booster landings and catching falling rocket nose cones.

With the Starlink mission delayed, SpaceX teams can now focus on Crew Dragon's next flight, known as Demo-2. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine confirmed last week that the capsule is still solidly on the schedule for liftoff from pad 39A at 4:33 p.m. May 27.

Bridenstine told FLORIDA TODAY that Behnken and Hurley are slated to depart Houston and arrive at Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday, after which they will continue their coronavirus quarantine procedures – which began last week – ahead of liftoff.

To read the entire, informative article, please access this direct FLORIDA TODAY infolink...