SpaceX has delayed the launch of a Luxembourg government satellite which would launch on a reusable Falcon 9 rocket. Originally, the GovSat-1 mission was scheduled for Tuesday, January 30, although now it has been postponed for at least 24 hours. According to SpaceX, they need to replace a second stage sensor, which is why the SpaceX GovSat-1 mission launch was scrubbed.
“Standing down for today. Team is going to replace a second stage sensor. Next available launch opportunity is tomorrow, January 31,” SpaceX officials wrote in a tweet.
Standing down for today. Team is going to replace a second stage sensor. Next available launch opportunity is tomorrow, January 31.
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— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 30, 2018
In fact, the second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket is new, while the first stage has been previously used. Nevertheless, this time, SpaceX won’t bring back the first stage booster again in this launch.
The Jan. 7 Zuma mission was delayed several times. The original launch date was in mid-November. However, the company said it needed to conduct a study on the data based on how the payload fairing, protecting nose cone of the rocket, acted for the other client.
Due to its secret nature, the launch of the Zuma spy satellite was barely broadcast at the time of the launch. However, several reports suggested that the Zuma satellite didn’t make it into orbit. There was an indication that it couldn’t split from the second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket.
“For clarity: after review of all data to date, Falcon 9 did everything correctly on Sunday night. If we or others find otherwise based on further review, we will report it immediately. Information published that is contrary to this statement is categorically false. Due to the classified nature of the payload, no further comment is possible,” SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell said in a statement as quoted by TechCrunch.
“Since the data reviewed so far indicates that no design, operational or other changes are needed, we do not anticipate any impact on the upcoming launch schedule. Falcon Heavy has been rolled out to launchpad LC-39A for a static fire later this week, to be followed shortly thereafter by its maiden flight. We are also preparing for an F9 launch for SES and the Luxembourg Government from SLC-40 in three weeks.”
However, this could only mean that SpaceX and the Falcon 9 rocket did their job, while the Zuma satellite couldn’t make it to orbit for one reason or another.
The next SpaceX GovSat-1 mission launch window will open at 4:25pm EST and it will close at 6:46pm on Wednesday, Jan. 31. However, there will also be a backup launch window on Thursday, February 1, which will be open at a similar time.
The GovSat-1 mission is a joint venture between the Luxembourg government and satellite firm SES. According to the SpaceX presskit, the spacecraft is “designed exclusively to address governmental and institutional security user needs.”