• The Thursday SpaceX launch was suddenly canceled minutes before launch
  • Even the Friday launch opportunity was scrubbed due to bad weather
  • Despite the delay, SpaceX is still doing well in terms of the number of launches this year

SpaceX had to cancel its latest scheduled launch of a fleet of Starlink internet satellites but the company still seems to be on the way to breaking its own record.

SpaceX was supposed to launch a new batch of 60 satellites for the Starlink mega constellation Thursday but it was canceled. Dubbed Starlink 12, the mission was originally scheduled for a launch aboard a Falcon 9 rocket at 2:25 pm EDT but it was scrubbed some 15 minutes prior to liftoff due to a "recovery issue" that was not specified but could possibly have something to do with the weather. There was a 30% chance of bad weather for the Thursday launch, reported.

SpaceX had initially tweeted that it would watch out for a possible launch opportunity on Friday at 1:57 pm EDT.

"Standing down from today's Starlink launch due to recovery issue; vehicle and payload remain healthy. Next launch opportunity is tomorrow, September 18 at 1:57 p.m. EDT, but we are keeping an eye on weather," the company tweeted.

Eventually, they announced that even the Friday launch has been canceled due to the bad weather.

"Standing down from tomorrow's launch of Starlink due to severe weather in the recovery area, which is likely to persist for a couple of days," SpaceX said in a tweet. "Will announce a new target launch date once confirmed."

If the delayed Starlink 12 launch prove to be a success at some later date, it will be added to the Falcon 9's record of over 90 successful launches overall and, the 60 satellites will join hundreds of other Starlink satellites already in orbit.

But despite the delay, SpaceX still appears to be on track to break its own record this year. As NASA Spaceflight reports, SpaceX is set to launch some 25 to 28 missions by the end of the year, which is less than the goals set by company president Gwynne Shotwell last December but would still break the company’s 2018 record of 21 launches.

SpaceX has so far launched 16 missions in 2020 and has several more planned. Upcoming missions include further Starlink launches in the coming months and the Crew 1 flight of the Dragon, which is set to carry four astronauts headed for the International Space Station (ISS) in October.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket in the background as dolphins swim in a lagoon near Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket in the background as dolphins swim in a lagoon near Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida Gregg Newton / Gregg Newton