SpaceX launch scrubbed again due to sensor issues

21 December, 2018, 19:26 | Author: Courtney Reynolds
  • Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Boeing and the French may all fly to space today

And seven minutes before SpaceX's Falcon 9 was set to launch, an onboard computer triggered an abort, causing the rocket to stand down for the day.

The company said that due to mission requirements, they will not attempt to land Falcon 9's rocket after launch. It will carry a U.S. National Reconnaissance Office satellite called the NROL- 71, which the Air Force says will help to give "innovative overhead intelligence systems for national security".

Four different companies have rocket launches slated for 18 December: Elon Musk's SpaceX, Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin, France's Arianespace and United Launch Alliance, the joint venture between Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp.

SpaceX said on Twitter it was standing down from the launch attempt of the GPS III to further evaluate an "out of family" reading on the rocket's first-stage sensors and would confirm a new launch date once that review was complete.

The new GPS III satellite configuration was built to deliver better navigation, timing and accuracy to more than 4 billion GPS users around the world.

"The most important thing is that we get that rocket up safely and securely and it achieves its mission", he said.

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Blue Origin, one of America's other top private space companies, had also planned to send a rocket but delayed its flight due to issues with the rocket's ground infrastructure.

Vice President Mike Pence will attend the SpaceX launch in Florida. The launch window is from 9:11 to 9:37 Tuesday morning. "The U.S. Space Command will integrate space capabilities across all branches of the military, it will develop the space doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures that will enable our war fighters to defend our nation in this new era".

GPS was developed by the USA military, which still designs, launches and operates the system.

The second launch to be postponed was that of Blue Origin, which was supposed to take off from West Texas carrying nine NASA-backed research projects, including experiments on microgravity, electromagnetic fields, and flight-measuring tools for the New Shepard spaceship.

The launch was initially scheduled for 2014 but has been hobbled by production delays, the Air Force said. All the technical issues were all overcome, and then rockets were launched. It was originally meant to catch a ride on a United Launch Alliance rocket in 2017.

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