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Update, Friday, Oct. 7: SpaceX canceled its launch attempt on Friday, October 2. 7 to allow additional time for vehicle registration. The next attempt is scheduled for 7:05 pm EDT on Saturday, October 1. 8.
SpaceX’s plans to carry out three liftoffs in three days were thwarted Thursday night when the launch sequence for a Falcon 9 rocket was automatically aborted with just seconds remaining.
Just after the 30-second reminder was called, the rocket at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station initiated an automatic launch abort sequence. The computer-controlled process automatically shut down launch operations and forced SpaceX to scrap Thursday’s attempt altogether.
Liftoff from Launch Complex 40 was scheduled for 7:20 pm EDT. SpaceX now plans to try again at 7:06 p.m. EDT on Friday, October 1. 7.
The miscarriage came after SpaceX successfully launched two Falcon 9s yesterday: one from the Kennedy Space Center that carried a four-person crew in a Crew Dragon capsule to the International Space Station; and then another seven hours later that involved boosting the Starlink internet satellites from California.
SpaceX’s launch manager reported that the abort was caused by “a higher-than-expected reading of cryogenic helium decay.”
The company’s CEO, Elon Musk, later took to Twitter to clarify: “Small helium leak (barely caused abortion), but we don’t take any chances on customer satellites. Let’s go back to investigate,” he said.
Secured in the rocket’s payload fairing are two commercial communications spacecraft for Intelsat, a Luxembourg-based satellite operator. They are known as Galaxy 33 and 34.
Space Force forecasters with Space Launch Delta 45 reported Thursday that some passing clouds and possibly showers couldn’t be ruled out, but “a very similar pattern is expected for a Friday night attempt with a few more cirrus clouds overhead.” “.
Conditions, SLD 45 said, should be at 90% “go” for the backup attempt Friday night.
If all goes well, Space Coast would see its third launch in just four days.
For the latest, visit floridatoday.com/launchschedule.
Jamie Groh is a space reporter for Florida Today. He can contact her at JGroh@floridatoday.com. follow her on Twitter at @AlteredJamie.
Launch October 8: SpaceX Galaxy
- Company/Agency: SpaceX for Intelsat
- Rocket: Falcon 9
- Location: Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station
- Release time: 7:05 p.m. EDT
- Trajectory: Northeast
- Weather: To be determined
- Live coverage: Available at floridatoday.com/space 60 minutes before liftoff
- About: SpaceX will launch two commercial communications satellites for Luxembourg-based Intelsat known as Galaxy 33 and 34.
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