(Reuters) – SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk said he will visit his space company’s Florida rocket facilities this week to investigate the cause of recent launch aborts and delays that have held up a busy mission schedule for the company’s workhorse Falcon 9 rocket.
The space company last week halted two back-to-back Falcon 9 missions – one packed with 60 SpaceX Starlink satellites and the other carrying a GPS satellite for the U.S. Air Force – over technical issues detected less than 30 seconds before planned liftoff from a launchpad in Florida.
SpaceX postponed the Starlink launch to Monday morning, but bad weather forced another delay.
“We’re doing a broad review of launch site, propulsion, structures, avionics, range & regulatory constraints this weekend,” Musk tweeted early Saturday after SpaceX called off the launch for the GPS satellite two seconds before liftoff. “I will also be at the Cape next week
SpaceX aborted a scheduled launch of a US military GPS satellite on Friday night with just about two seconds left in the countdown. The launch was scheduled for a 15-minute window that opened at 6:43 p.m. PT. All appeared to be proceeding smoothly, until two seconds before launch. SpaceX was just starting the engine ignition sequence when it stopped the clock.
“Standing down from tonight’s launch attempt of GPS III-4,” SpaceX tweeted a few minutes before 7 p.m. PT, though it didn’t say whether a ground or flight vehicle issue was to blame. The next launch window opens at 6:39 p.m. PT Saturday, SpaceX said.
SpaceX and the US Space Force are getting along famously. Friday’s attempted launch in Florida follows a Space Force Falcon 9 launch in
SpaceX aborted a scheduled launch of a US military GPS satellite from Florida on Friday night with just about two seconds left in the countdown. The launch was scheduled for a 15-minute window that opened at 6:43 p.m. PT, with the weather forecast at 70% favorable for liftoff. All appeared to be proceeding smoothly, until two seconds before launch. SpaceX was just starting the engine ignition sequence when it stopped the clock.
NASA Astronaut Chris Cassidy, serving as commander of the Expedition 63 mission aboard the International Space Station, took these photos of Hurricane Laura as it continued to strengthen in the Gulf of Mexico on August 25. Photo courtesy of NASA | License Photo
The International Space Station was orbiting over Kazakhstan and into China while the solar eclipse shadowing a portion of the Asian continent was captured by an external high definition camera on June 21. In the left foreground, is the H-II Transfer Vehicle-9 from Japan. Photo courtesy of NASA | License Photo
NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy (L) and Bob Behnken work on U.S. spacesuits inside the ISS’s Quest airlock on June 20. The two are slated to conduct spacewalks on June 26 and July 1 to begin the replacement of batteries for one of the power channels on the orbiting laboratory. Photo courtesy of NASA | License Photo