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033018 SpaceX Iridium launch 07.jpg (copy)

In this March 30, 2018, file photo, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Vandenberg Air Force Base as part of an Iridium NEXT mission. A Falcon 9 launch that had been slated for Wednesday morning from VAFB was postponed Tuesday due to expected poor weather conditions.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch that had been planned for Monday morning has been postponed, SpaceX confirmed Saturday.

Several small satellites were slated to be sent into orbit aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base as part of the “Spaceflight SSO-A: SmallSat Express” mission. No specific reason was provided for the postponement, and no makeup date has been announced. 

"Standing down from Monday’s launch attempt of Spaceflight SSO-A: SmallSat Express to conduct additional pre-flight inspections," SpaceX tweeted Saturday. "Once complete, we will confirm a new launch date."

The rocket is slated to carry about 70 satellites, including so-called microsatellites and CubeSats, from various providers throughout the world, including some U.S. government agencies.

The payload was configured by Spaceflight, a Seattle-based launch services company. By having the satellites together in a rideshare setting, the cost of the launch is spread across many customers.

Among the satellites that will be part of the mission will be the Pathfinder II from Helios Wire, an Internet of Things, or IoT, connectivity company. The Pathfinder II satellite is planned to be the first of a 28-satellite constellation the company intends to deploy for global IoT coverage.

“This is undoubtedly an exciting leap forward for us and a foundational component of our future constellation,” Helios Wire CEO and co-founder Scott Larson said in a statement on the company’s website. “We expect it will shake up the way people think about IoT connectivity, in terms of application types that can be layered on top of the network, specifically analytics and blockchain. We’re very grateful to our team and partners for helping us reach this milestone and we remain focused on expanding our market opportunities and completing our next group of satellites.”

Officials with VAFB’s 30th Space Wing recommend that members of the public who wish to view the launch gather at the Hawk’s Nest on Azalea Lane off Highway 1, about a half mile south of VAFB’s main gate.

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This report was prepared by Willis Jacobson. He can be reached at wjacobson@leecentralcoastnews.com.

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