Elon Musk’s vision of cheaper, more rapid launches to orbit gets lifted to a higher level when one of his Block 5 Falcon 9 rockets blasts off from Vandenberg Air Force Base carrying dozens of tiny spacecraft. The Block 5 version of SpaceX’s workhorse rocket is designed to be reused up to 10 times or more without refurbishment. The specific booster to be used was also launched in May (the) and then again .
The payload bay atop that Falcon 9 is going to be crowded — it’s loaded with 64 small satellites from 34 different organizations representing 17 nations. Spaceflight Industries purchased all the space on the Falcon 9 for a rideshare mission dubbed SSO-A SmallSat Express, which the company says will be the largest single rideshare mission from a U.S.-based launch vehicle so far.
The mission was originally set for July, but has been delayed multiple times to Nov. 19 and then until Wednesday. But on Tuesday evening, SpaceX announced that the launch is again on hold due to “extreme high-altitude winds.”
“We will announce a new launch date once confirmed with the Range,” SpaceX tweeted.
The University of North Carolina-Wilmington, Nevada Museum of Art, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and Capella Space Corporation are among the organizations that’ll have satellites aboard the rocket.
The booster’s historic third landing will take place less than ten minutes later on the droneship Just Read the Instructions, stationed in the Pacific Ocean.
You can watch the entire mission live via SpaceX webcast. We’ll update this post when the new launch date is announced and embed the live feed here when it becomes available. Typically the broadcast begins about 15 minutes before scheduled launch.