“Hold, Hold, Hold”: SpaceX SES-9 Launch Scrubbed

"Hold, Hold, Hold" Credit: SpaceX

“Hold, Hold, Hold”
Credit: SpaceX

After foregoing a launch attempt on the first day of a two day window, the SpaceX SES-9 was scrubbed at T-1:41 on the countdown clock Thursday evening. Based on flight commentary by SpaceX’s John Insprucker, initial indications seemed to suggest that the launch team actually ran out of time in the effort to conduct propellant loading as close to T-0 as possible.

With the SES-9 satellite pushing the Falcon 9’s lift capacity to the limit, SpaceX had sought to keep the liquid oxygen as cold as possible to achieve maximum densification. The best way to do that is to keep it in the vacuum jacketed ground storage tanks until the last possible second, as the temperature begins to rise as soon loading operations begin.

There was no immediate word on when a new launch effort might be scheduled.

This page will be updated when further information is available.


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2 Comments on "“Hold, Hold, Hold”: SpaceX SES-9 Launch Scrubbed"

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  1. And I assume that if they hadn’t been also planning to land something even though they considered success unlikely, they wouldn’t have been straining so hard against payload limits in the first place? Liquid oxygen is by far the biggest contributor to all-up weight on the pad, just before launch. I guess if you get really clever, you can even keep feeding fuel and oxidizer into the tanks while hold-down testing is in progress, decoupling and launching if all lights stay green. Kinda pushing it, though.

    • Zed_Weasel says:

      Since the uprated Falcon 9 uses densified propellants. The problem for SpaceX is having the super-chilled LOX in the Falcon 9 for too long. The LOX will warm up and get less dense, thus reducing the oxidizer mass loaded. Less total impulse available.

      This appears to be an issue with the GSE (ground support equipment)not the rocket.

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