Two-stage rocket SpaceX Falcon 9 launches the Bangabandhu-1 communication satellite from NASA's Kennedy Space Center on May 11 2018. The first phase of Falcon 9 launches another satellite in August 2018 and is scheduled for at least 64 small satellites at the Rideshare SSO-A Mission, which has been scheduled to be launched on November 19.
The history of Spaceflight will not be made Monday (November 19) after all.
Two SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets above it with at least 64 small satellites are scheduled to be launched at 01.31. EST (1831 GMT) Monday from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
The first Falcon 9 stage has two flights under its belt, and Monday's launch is to mark the first third mission for the SpaceX rocket core. But we have to wait a little longer for that achievement. [See the Evolution of SpaceX’s Rockets in Pictures]
"Standing up from the effort to launch SpaceFlight SSO-A on Monday: SmallSat Express to conduct additional pre-flight inspections. After completion, we will confirm the new launch date," SpaceX representatives said via Twitter on Saturday (November 17).
They did not offer further details, so it was unclear what problems prompted calls for further examination.
The first phase of the Falcon 9 that will help SSO-A attic have flown twice this year. It launched the Bangabandhu-1 communication satellite for the Bangladesh government in May and the Red and White satellite for PT Telkom Indonesia in August.
Such reuse is a top priority for SpaceX and founder and CEO Elon Musk, which aims to cut the cost of spaceflight by flying rockets regularly and repeatedly. The launch of the same three Falcon 9 rockets will mark a significant step towards achieving the company's long-term goals.
Along this same line: SpaceX had planned to reuse the upper stage Falcon 9 too, but it was no longer on the card, Musk announced yesterday.
"Btw, SpaceX no longer plans to upgrade the second phase of Falcon 9 to be able to be reused. Speed up the BFR instead. The new design is very interesting! Fun counter-intuitive," Musk said via Twitter.
BFR, or "Big Falcon Rocket," is a large, reusable duo of space rockets that SpaceX developed to help bring people to Mars and other destinations throughout the solar system. The first Mars BFR mission could be launched in the 2020s if everything goes according to plan, Musk said. (You can read about the new BFR designs here.)
The BFR will be a versatile system capable of carrying out all activities planned by SpaceX, from launching satellites to transport people on a point-to-point trip around the Earth, Musk said. Indeed, SpaceX aims to eliminate the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, and its Dragon capsule, after online BFR.
When SSO-A takes off, it will carry at least 64 small satellites into low-Earth orbit. This payload is a lot; more than 30 of them are provided by international organizations which together involve 18 different countries, according to Spaceflight representatives, mission management providers who put together flights.
Total crazy satellite is not an all-time record. In February 2017, a rocket launcher for the Indian Polar Satellite launches 104 spacecraft, most of them are small "nanosats" into Earth orbit.
Mike Wall's book about the search for alien life, "Out there"(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate) come out now. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us @Spacedotcom or Facebook. Initially published on Space.com.