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Weather delay moves SpaceX resupply mission to same day as Starlink launch
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Weather delay moves SpaceX resupply mission to same day as Starlink launch
by Simon Druker
Washington DC (UPI) Jun 3, 2023

Weather in Florida has delayed the launch of the SpaceX Dragon cargo mission, which is now slated to lift off Sunday, the same day the company also plans to send a new batch of Starlink satellites into orbit.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is now scheduled to launch at 12:12 p.m. Sunday to send an automated Dragon cargo capsule to the International Space Station.

However, the company says there is a 60% chance the weather will not cooperate Sunday. The odds stood at 70% for the original launch date on Saturday from NASA's Kennedy Space Center of Florida's Atlantic coast.

Tropical Storm Arlene weakened to a tropical depression Saturday morning, but still had sustained winds of 35 miles per hour, 145 miles west-southwest of Dry Tortugas National Park.

"A turn to the east is expected by tonight, and that motion should continue until the system dissipates," the National Hurricane Center said in its latest update. "Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 35 mph with higher gusts. Continued weakening is forecast and Arlene is expected to become a remnant low later today."

The Dragon spacecraft is carrying some 7,000 pounds of supplies to the ISS, including science experiments and fresh food. It would be the 28th SpaceX resupply mission to the orbiting lab.

The payload also includes six new Roll Out Solar Arrays to help power the ISS, with a price tag of $103 million. They'll be installed over two future space walks and increase the station's power supply by 30%.

Earlier in the day, SpaceX will also launch its latest mission to deploy Starlink satellites.

That mission, also using a Falcon 9 rocket, is scheduled to launch from nearby Canaveral's Space Launch Complex 40 at 5:56 a.m. EDT Sunday.

The mission is weather-dependent and has backup launch windows at 6:49 a.m., 7:36 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.

Once airborne, the rocket will deploy 22 of SpaceX's second-generation Starlink Internet satellites.

There are also backup launch opportunities on Monday.

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