SpaceX launch scrubbed for a second time

26 Feb

SpaceX made their second attempt today, Feb 25, to launch the SES-9 satellite into orbit. The launch was scheduled for 6:46 pm EST (3:46 pm PST) on launch complex 40 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. At T – 1:41 the countdown was halted a few seconds before the mission was scrubbed. This was the second time in two days that the mission had to be postponed due to propellant reasons. There is no date set to make a third attempt to carryout the mission.

The commercial space company said Wednesday’s scrub was “out of an abundance of caution,” but that the Falcon 9 rocket “remains healthy.”

“Out of an abundance of caution, the team opted to hold launch for today to ensure liquid oxygen temperatures are as cold as possible in an effort to maximize performance of the vehicle.”

When SpaceX is finally able to carryout the deployment of the SES-9 communication satellite it will be placed in a geostationary orbit approximately 36.000 kilometers over the Indian Ocean. Once in position the satellite will provide satellite-enabled communications to broadcasters, Internet service providers, marine traffic, and fixed networks. The SES-9 will join some 50 other geostationary satellites that provide similar communications worldwide.

A secondary part of the mission will again see SpaceX attempt to land the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket on a drone barge. SpaceX has already made one successful attempt at landing their rocket back in December. Since that successful land they have also had an unsuccessful attempt in a January when of legs on the rocket buckled.

“One of the limiting factors to a more-robust space program is the cost of getting payloads into orbit,” said Rob Salonen of Florida Institute of Technology. “If SpaceX can make it less expensive to do that, it lowers the cost of that orbit.”


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