SpaceX postpones rocket launch due to high winds

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SAN DIEGO -- San Diego residents will get another chance to catch signs of a SpaceX launch soon.

On the heels of its successful Falcon Heavy rocket launch on Feb. 6, the aerospace company is set to blast off on another venture that aims to provide low-cost internet access around the world via satellite.

After initially planning to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Sunday, Feb. 18, SpaceX announced that they needed to push back the new mission to Feb. 22. The launch is scheduled for 6:17 a.m. PST.

SpaceX has the blessing of the Federal Communications Commission to send up the test satellites. And last week, FCC chairman Ajit Pai gave SpaceX's internet ambitions a nudge by urging the FCC to approve SpaceX's broader internet proposal.

SpaceX's plan is to "deliver broadband services directly to [people] anywhere in the United States or around the world" at speeds similar to some of the quickest ground-based internet connections.

Billions of people around the globe still lack internet access, so companies have been racing to find a better way to beam internet down from the sky.

They include OneWeb, a startup that's attracted backing from the likes of Richard Branson's Virgin Group, Coca-Cola and Qualcomm. And that startup already has approval from the FCC to send internet satellites into orbit.

FCC chairman Pai, who was appointed by President Trump, said last week that if SpaceX gets approval for its satellite project, it'll be a first for an American-based company in the internet-in-space race.

Some of SpaceX's internal financial documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal last year show the company has high expectations for this satellite network.

"SpaceX projected the satellite-internet business would have over 40 million subscribers and bring in more than $30 billion in revenue by 2025," the Journal reported.

On Wednesday, SpaceX's test satellites won't be the only thing aboard the rocket.

The primary mission is to deliver a satellite, called PAZ, for the Spanish government.

According to European firm Airbus, which was the primary contractor for PAZ, the satellite will serve "many different applications," including defense and security.

It'll stay in orbit for about five and a half years, making full loops around Earth 15 times per day. It'll be able to capture images of our home planet -- day or night and no matter what the weather looks like -- using radar technology.

Earlier this month, SpaceX captured the public's attention with the launch of its massive new rocket. Called Falcon Heavy, it became the most powerful operational rocket in the world.

There are plans to fly a communications satellite and a payload for the U.S. Air Force on board a Falcon Heavy later this year. But Wednesday's launch will use a Falcon 9, the rocket SpaceX has flown since 2010.

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