SpaceX had scheduled a launch for its Falcon 9 rocket for Sunday, but at the last second, it aborted the launch due to a fuel problem. The rocket was to carry a communications satellite called SES-9 into orbit, and Sunday’s decision to scrub the launch is the latest in multiple delays that have come in less than a week.
SpaceX delays launch again
SpaceX initially placed a hold on the Falcon 9 launch on Sunday evening as a result of the fuel problem that later resulted in scrubbing the launch entirely for now. The company delayed the launch more than once last week as a result of thick clouds and high winds in the launch area around Cape Canaveral, Fla. It also delayed the launch on Thursday, which was believed to be due to oxygen uncertainties.
Then on Sunday, it placed a hold on launch for a “range safety issue” it said on Twitter Sunday, adding that a boat entered the “keep out” zone. SpaceX continued countdown as efforts to get the ship to move continued. Then it decided to scrub the Falcon 9 launch for the day due to a “low thrust alarm,” said CEO Elon Musk on Twitter.
@SpaceX Launch aborted on low thrust alarm. Rising oxygen temps due to hold for boat and helium bubble triggered alarm.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 29, 2016
The scrub came within seconds of liftoff. On SpaceX’s live webcast, spokesperson John Insprucker said their countdown got all the way down to almost T-0 when they decided to abort the launch at 7:21 p.m. The company has not yet scheduled another launch date, and management said the vehicle and spacecraft “are healthy.”
Being made the satellite that was to be carried into orbit for SES, a company that’s based in Luxembourg. The satellite is designed to send TV channels and broadband service to southeastern Asia from an orbit of more than 22,000 miles—a distance that’s 100 times as high as where the International Space Station orbits, SpaceX Mission Integrator Lauren Lyons said, according to Phys.org.
SpaceX continues work on Falcon 9
The website explains that the Falcon 9 runs on liquid oxygen and kerosene. The website also reminds us that in June 2015, one of the rockets exploded within minutes of launch, which some said was the result of a bad strut that was holding helium bottles in place.
SpaceX designed the Falcon 9 to be reusable and so far has landed one rocket upright on the ground one time in December. However, multiple attempts to land it in the ocean have not been successful. The company doesn’t expect a successful launch this time either but added that its goal with this launch (other than delivering the satellite into orbit) is to be able to recycle the rocket parts, which still should help reduce the cost of spaceflight.