SpaceX Falcon 9 launches on Saturday night from Cape Canaveral amid cloudy forecast

"Falcon 9 is in startup."

"Go for launch."

" ... Five, four, three, two, one. Engines full power. And liftoff! Go Falcon. Go Starlink."

SpaceX launch personnel counted down the final minute before liftoff of Saturday night's Falcon 9 rocket launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, which bucked the odds and streaked skyward amid a cloudy forecast and sporadic rainstorms across Brevard County.

Postponed from its initial Friday night launch window, the 11 p.m. EST launch deployed a payload of 23 Starlink internet-beaming satellites into low-Earth orbit.

The 230-foot rocket's first-stage booster descended for a fiery landing aboard the SpaceX drone ship A Shortfall of Gravitas out on the Atlantic Ocean.

Thick cloud layers, cumulous clouds and upper-level wind shear threatened the Starlink 6-31 mission. The Space Force's 45th Weather Squadron had only pegged the odds of "go for launch" weather at 40% for both Friday and Saturday nights.

Saturday's launch extended this year's ongoing record of annual orbital launches from the Space Coast to 67 with four more weeks to go.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket takes flight at 11 p.m. Saturday.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket takes flight at 11 p.m. Saturday.

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Looking ahead this week, an updated National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency navigational warning indicates Cape Canaveral's next rocket launch window will open late Wednesday night and extend 4½ hours into early Thursday morning.

That launch window opens at 11 p.m. Wednesday and extends until 3:31 p.m. EST Thursday, mirroring the hours of of recent SpaceX Starlink missions. However, SpaceX has yet to publicly announce its next launch attempt.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off at 11 p.m. Saturday from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off at 11 p.m. Saturday from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

For the latest schedule updates at the Cape, visit floridatoday.com/launchschedule.

Rick Neale is a Space Reporter at FLORIDA TODAY (for more of his stories, click here.) Contact Neale at 321-242-3638 or rneale@floridatoday.com. Twitter/X: @RickNeale1

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This article originally appeared on Florida Today: SpaceX Starlink mission launches Saturday after one-day postponement