Thursday's SpaceX launch has some cool surprises in store

Dragonfly is a dual-quadcopter lander that would take advantage of the environment on Titan to fly to multiple locations some hundreds of miles apart to sample materials and determine surface composition to investigate Titan's organic chemistry and habi

SpaceX launch pushed to Thursday morning

The main payload will be lifted up by "Paz" satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 9.14 a.m. ET located in California while the second stage of the satellite is said to be launched with Starlink demonstration.

The launch's primary mission is to deliver PAZ, a radar-imaging satellite, into orbit for the Spain-based company Hisdesat.

It will also have a similar mission to provide high-resolution radar coverage for both government and commercial use.

Video The first two internet-relaying satellites in SpaceX's Starlink constellation have been launched into Earth's orbit - and will begin broadcasting to the world this week. To get breaking news alerts, download the free News 2 App for iPhone or Android.

The launch had been scheduled for Saturday morning, but was first pushed back to Sunday and then Wednesday.

SpaceX announced 10 minutes before blast off: "Standing down today due to strong upper level winds". SpaceX has built a fairing recovery boat, called Mr. Steven, which is equipped with a huge net held in place by giant metal arms to catch Falcon 9 payload fairings. According to the plan, from 2019 to 2024 SpaceX will orbit 4425 such satellites for Internet distribution.

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Providing the test is successful and SpaceX moves forward with Starlink, the 12,000 satellites necessary to bring it to life would represent more than double the total number of satellites ever launched into space.

SpaceX launched the world's most powerful rocket, the Falcon Heavy (pictured), this month. SpaceX, which has been perfecting the system of recovering rockets to reduce mission costs, will not attempt to recover the rocket again Thursday. A Delta IV rocket, provided by United Launch Alliance, blasted off from the base January 12 carrying a secret payload for the National Reconnaissance Office.

The Microsat-2a and Microsat-2b are Internet-beaming satellite prototypes which will be used to gather information about the technology needed for a global satellite Internet array. The FCC hasn't officially green-lit Starlink yet, but commission chairman Ajit Pai recently endorsed the project and said he had urged the other four commissioners to do so as well.

SpaceX and Musk released the first-ever public images and video of the satellites shortly after their launch on Thursday.

SpaceX is sending up the mission using, in part, a reusable first-stage rocket booster that the company launched and recovered in August.

At 7:14 am, Musk tweeted an update about the attempted retrieval, indicating that the fairings had landed in the ocean a few hundred meters from where Mr. Steven was waiting to catch them.

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