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Update, Friday, October. 7: SpaceX scrubbed its launch attempt on Friday, October 7 to allow extra time for vehicle checkouts. The next attempt is set for Saturday, October 8 at 7:05 PM EDT.
SpaceX’s plans to conduct three liftoffs in three days were disrupted Thursday evening when a Falcon 9 rocket’s launch sequence automatically shut down with seconds remaining.
After a 30-second reminder call, an automatic sequence of launch stops was initiated by the rocket at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. The computer-controlled process automatically halted launch operations and forced SpaceX to scrap the Jupiter attempt altogether.
Liftoff from Launch Complex 40 is scheduled for 7:20 pm EDT. SpaceX now plans to try again at 7:06 pm EDT Friday, October 7.
SpaceX stopped yesterday after successfully launching two Falcon 9s: one from Kennedy Space Center carrying a crew of four aboard a Dragon capsule to the International Space Station; Then seven hours later, it involves the launch of Starlink Internet satellites from California.
The SpaceX launch director announced that the abort was caused by a “higher-than-expected reading of cryogenic helium decay.”
The company’s CEO Elon Musk later clarified on Twitter: “Small helium leak (just triggered the shutdown), but we’re not taking any risks with customer satellites. We stand by the investigation,” he said.
Secured in the rocket’s payload fairing are two commercial communications spacecraft for the Luxembourg-based satellite operator Intelsat. They are called Galaxy 33 and 34.
Space Force forecasters with Space Launch Delta 45 said they could not rule out a few clouds and showers Thursday, but expected “a few more cirrus clouds aloft during the Friday evening effort.”
Conditions, SLD 45 said, required a 90% “go” for the Friday evening backup attempt.
If all is on track, Space Coast will see its third launch in four days.
For the latest information, visit floridatoday.com/launchschedule.
Jamie Crow is Florida Today’s space reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]. Follow her Twitter at @AlteredJamie.
Launch October 8: SpaceX Galaxy
- Company/Agency: SpaceX for Intelsat
- Rocket: Falcon 9
- Location: Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station
- Release time: 7:05 pm EDT
- Route: Northeast
- Weather: TBD
- Live coverage: Available 60 minutes before departure at floridatoday.com/space
- About: SpaceX is launching two commercial communications satellites for Luxembourg-based Intelsat, called Galaxy 33 and 34.
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