SpaceX is aiming to launch 3 rockets on Sunday, including two again-to-back again Falcon 9 launches in Florida and a Starship check flight in Texas, if climate permits. The SAOCOM 1B mission would follow suit from the nearby Air Force station.
Despite bad weather that forced SpaceX to stand down from a Starlink launch planned earlier this morning, the company is still on track to attempt the first East Coast polar launch in half a century later this evening.
Following launch, the rocket flew a dogleg path to the south, flying alongside the east coast of Florida and over Cuba. In addition, a rocket optimized for equatorial launches was launched into polar orbit for the first time in 50 years. The double header fell into place after a dramatic last-second abort early Saturday of a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 Heavy rocket carrying a classified National Reconnaissance Office spy satellite.
"Standing down from today's launch of Starlink due to inclement weather during pre-flight operations. Next launch opportunity is Tuesday, September 1 at 9:29 a.m. EDT, pending Range acceptance", SpaceX said on Twitter.
SpaceX had planned to launch two Falcon 9s Sunday just nine hours apart, the shortest span between two orbit-class USA launches since 1966. SpaceX may offer coverage of the satellite deployments, too, as well as footage of its net-equipped ships attempting to catch the rocket's nose cone as it returns to Earth in two parts, a tricky maneuver that it appears to be close to nailing. The AFTS is created to quickly terminate a flight if an impending catastrophic problem is detected.
However, due to wildfire dangers near Vandenberg, the Air Force chose to allow SpaceX - and only SpaceX - to launch south from Florida. The first stage even landed safely at LZ1 in Florida. It'll use radar to keep track of Earth for disasters that could impact its agricultural, mining and other industries. "So this is very important information".