Series of SpaceX and ULA launch scrubs saddens skywatchers

spacexspaceforceoct2020

This rocket carrying a GPS satellite for the US Space Force is still waiting to launch. 


SpaceX

A September full of suffering for space fans now seems to be bleeding over into October as a long series of launch delays continues with Monday’s scrub of a planned SpaceX Starlink mission

This marks the fifth time the launch has been pushed back in the past three weeks, and it comes just three days after SpaceX had to stand down once again from launching a GPS satellite for the US Space Force on Friday. That mission has also been postponed now a total of four times in the past week. 

The delays aren’t only affecting SpaceX. A United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket was set to lift a new US spy satellite into orbit Aug.

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Watch ULA Launch a Spy Satellite on a Delta IV Heavy Rocket Tonight

A Delta Heavy IV rocket launches NASA’s Parker Solar Probe from Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral in August 2018.

A Delta Heavy IV rocket launches NASA’s Parker Solar Probe from Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral in August 2018.
Photo: Bill Ingalls/NASA (Getty Images)

A United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket carrying a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office will take off from Cape Canaveral Space Launch Complex-37 in Florida shortly before midnight on Wednesday. Assuming, that is, there isn’t another one of the last-minute delays that have hounded the mission for months.

The rocket and its semi-mysterious payload, dubbed NROL-44, were originally slated to take off in June. But NROL-44 was delayed until Aug. 29 with no explanation ever offered to the public, according to Ars Technica. It then malfunctioned on that date, with a faulty part causing a hotfire abort after its three RS-68 engines had already begun firing. Repairs took weeks.

NROL-44 was then scheduled to take off on Sept.

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