SpaceX slows Falcon 9 liftoff after automatic abort

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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.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 remains on the launch pad at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022. The launch of the rocket, which was carrying Intelsat G-33 and 34, a pair of commercial communications satellites, it was canceled due to a helium leak.  Craig Bailey/FLORIDA TODAY via USA TODAY NETWORK

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.”

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