SpaceX aborts Starlink launch due to ground-sensor reading

SpaceX aborted the launch of a batch of Starlink internet satellites 18 seconds before blastoff due to an anomalous ground-sensor reading this morning (Oct. 1) at the launchpad in Florida.

The company has not yet announced when the next launch opportunity for the rocket will occur. SpaceX has a second Falcon 9 rocket on a neighboring launchpad that is preparing to launch a new GPS satellite on Friday morning (Oct. 2).

"The purpose of countdown is to help us catch potential issues prior to flight," Siva Bharadvaj, a spacecraft operator at SpaceX, said after announcing the abort. "There's a thousand ways that a launch can go wrong and only one way it can go right."

Related: SpaceX's Starlink satellite megaconstellation launches in photos

Twin SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets seen at Kennedy Space Center before a Starlink launch abort on Oct. 1, 2020. (Image credit: SpaceX)

Despite the ground-sensor reading, Bharadvaj said, the rocket seemed to be in fine condition. "Overall, the vehicle does appear to be in good health," he said.

Whenever it does launch, this mission will deliver the 13th batch of about 60 Starlink satellites into orbit to join SpaceX's growing megaconstellation that is designed to provide internet services, particularly in remote areas that are not currently well connected.

Before this morning's abort, the launch had been delayed by two weeks by bad weather.

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Meghan Bartels
Senior Writer

Meghan is a senior writer at and has more than five years' experience as a science journalist based in New York City. She joined in July 2018, with previous writing published in outlets including Newsweek and Audubon. Meghan earned an MA in science journalism from New York University and a BA in classics from Georgetown University, and in her free time she enjoys reading and visiting museums. Follow her on Twitter at @meghanbartels.

  • Wrapper
    To Meghan Bartels: Your article states "batch of about 60 Starlink satellites" but it seems to me that the number of satellites should be easy to get accurately by simply asking the SpaceX team a question. I doubt that the number of satellites being launched is a secret, so there is no need for the "about" qualification.
  • Lovethrust
    Cannot be too careful with these launches, see Russia and China and the Space Shuttle for what happens when you rush things. Good for SpaceX.