The Falcon 9 rocket carrying an Earth observation satellite for Spain had been scheduled to lift off from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Sunday, almost 20 minutes before sunrise.
"Team at Vandenberg is taking additional time to perform final checkouts of upgraded fairing", SpaceX representatives wrote on Twitter.
SpaceX tries to re-use rockets, payload fairings, boosters and other parts to try to cut down on the cost of each rocket mission. The rocket will be sending the company's first Starlink broadband satellites as well as the Paz radar-imaging satellite for Spain into orbit. Earlier Elon Musk had informed that they are working on upgrading the fairing of their Falcon 9 boosters so that their components can be recovered and reused efficiently. SpaceX didn't publicly speak about the Starlink prototypes, although it revealed their presence on the Falcon 9 rockets in Federal Communications Commission filings. The company has been experimenting with parachutes on its fairings and built a giant ship equipped with metal arms to catch these fairings when they splash into the ocean.
SpaceX aims to use reusable rocket technology in order to reduce the costs of spaceflight and space travel. The launch's primary mission is to deliver an observational satellite, called PAZ, for the Spanish government.
"It's like a giant catcher's mitt, in boat form", SpaceX CEO Elon Musk told reporters after the Falcon Heavy launch on February 6, Space.com reported. That first stage booster had carried the Taiwanese Formosat-5 satellite to space in August 2017.
SpaceX had planned to launch two demonstration satellites into space Saturday from Vandenberg, but then it rescheduled for Sunday. "Instead, Facebook opted to lease broadband onboard Spacecom's AMOS-6 satellite, which was destroyed when a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded during fueling before launch in 2016".