SpaceX’s 27th launch of the year was set for Wednesday, April 26, 2023, lofting another batch of 46 Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit. However, a scrub was called with just seconds to go, based on a high probability of a landing failure – likely related to weather conditions downrange in the recovery zone. The liftoff will now be scheduled to occur at 6:40 AM PDT (13:40 UTC) on Thursday from Space Launch Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The flight was originally scheduled on Tuesday but was delayed before prop loading was set to take place on Tuesday morning.
The mission, Starlink Group 3-5, marks the resumption of Starlink Group 3 flights to sun-synchronous orbit, which started in the summer of 2022 and were paused after only four flights. This shell provides coverage to the polar regions. This launch also marks SpaceX’s 40th flight from SLC-4E.
The booster, B1061, will be flying for a 13th time, becoming the fifth booster to fly that many times. Its landing is set to occur on the deck of SpaceX’s Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Of Course I Still Love You (OCISLY), which will be stationed 634 km downrange in the Pacific Ocean.