SpaceX Starlink launch window opens Thursday a.m.; NASA Crew-8 mission delayed to Saturday

Update 7:30 a.m. Thursday: Now, there will not be a launch doubleheader. Overnight, NASA officials postponed the Crew-8 mission to 11:16 p.m. Saturday, citing high winds and waves along the Dragon spacecraft's flight track. SpaceX is still targeting 10:30 a.m. for today's Starlink launch.

Original story: Though SpaceX has yet to make a public announcement, the Space Launch Delta 45 website shows a rocket launch window for the next Starlink mission will open at 10:30 a.m. EST Thursday at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station — just under 14 hours ahead of a planned crewed launch.

SpaceX and NASA are already scheduled to launch the quartet of Crew-8 astronauts aboard a different Falcon 9 rocket at 12:04 a.m. Friday from adjacent Kennedy Space Center.

In a forecast issued Wednesday morning, the Space Force's 45th Weather Squadron predicted 85% odds of "go for launch" weather for the Starlink launch window, with liftoff winds and cumulous clouds looming as primary threats. That window extends from 10:30 a.m. until 1:01 p.m. Thursday, a Federal Aviation Administration operations plan advisory shows.

More Starlink mission details:

  • Mission: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch a batch of Starlink internet satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

  • Location: Launch Complex 40.

  • Trajectory: Southeast.

  • Local sonic boom: No.

  • Booster landing: Drone ship out on the Atlantic Ocean.

  • Live coverage: Starts 90 minutes before liftoff at

The 45th Weather Squadron's forecast also noted diminishing chances for the Crew-8 instantaneous liftoff target time. Evolving odds of good weather have dipped from 90% to 85% — with an increased moderate-to-high risk of poor ascent corridor weather.

NASA Commercial Crew Program manager Steve Stich discussed that topic during a Wednesday morning press conference. He cautioned that meteorologists are wary of poor weather conditions downrange over the Atlantic Ocean, in case the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour capsule has to eject and make an emergency splashdown.

Thus far during 2024, a dozen orbital launches have occurred at KSC and neighboring Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

For the latest news from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and NASA's Kennedy Space Center, visit

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

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This article originally appeared on Florida Today: SpaceX Starlink launch window opens Thursday a.m. ahead of Crew-8 launch