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Update: SpaceX is now targeting 9:02 p.m. ET Tuesday, Jan. 18, for this launch. Follow live here.
Forecasted weather conditions for the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center forced SpaceX teams to delay the liftoff by 24 hours to Tuesday evening.
"With more favorable weather conditions for liftoff and booster recovery, now targeting Tuesday, January 18, at 7:04 p.m. ET for Falcon 9’s launch of Starlink satellites," SpaceX said Monday.
Conditions for a Monday attempt, which would have flown at 7:26 p.m., were calculated by the Space Force at 70% "go." Weather for Tuesday's launch from pad 39A, however, improve significantly to greater than 90% "go" thanks to high pressure settling overhead. Cool weather will remain in the area, too.
"On Tuesday, high pressure will settle overhead, making for another chilly morning with low temperatures near 45 degrees at the spaceport," Space Launch Delta 45 forecasters said Monday. "Skies will continue to be mostly cloud-free and with winds becoming light and variable, making excellent weather conditions for a Tuesday evening launch attempt."
Forecasters also said all three additional variables not calculated into the "percent go" – upper-level winds, drone ship recovery weather, and solar flare activity – were all described as "low risk." Monday's attempt had been "moderate risk."
Packed into this Falcon 9's payload fairing will be 49 Starlink satellites that mark the company's 35th dedicated launch for the internet constellation. SpaceX eventually hopes to operate tens of thousands in low-Earth orbit.
Spectators should note that Tuesday's launch will fly a southern trajectory, a typically rare mission for the Space Coast due to the additional energy needed to fly around the southern tip of Florida. All of January's missions so far, however, have flown toward the south.
For the latest, visit floridatoday.com/launchschedule.
This article originally appeared on Florida Today: Weather forces SpaceX to delay Starlink launch from Florida