SpaceX Orbcomm Launch Attempt Scrubbed


SpaceX is feeling the pressure, or more accurately, the lack of sufficient pressure.

In what is turning out to its most frustrating launch campaign since the days on Kwajalein, SpaceX was forced to scrub today’s planned flight of the Orbcomm OG2 mission after receiving indications that pressures were falling off in the Falcon 9 second stage.

Originally scheduled for a 6:08 pm liftoff from Cape Canaveral’s SLC-40, SpaceX subsequently reset the clock for the end of the launch window as indications of a problem cropped up.  Unsure of whether the falling pressure reading was due to an issue on the vehicle itself, or with the ground equipment, the launch team finally called an abort at 6:54 pm ET. Ironically, the weather, which had been predicted to be poor, with only a 40% chance of favorable conditions, instead held off.  SpaceX has reserved a contingency launch opportunity for tomorrow afternoon, but if it is unable to resolve the problem quickly, scheduled Air Force range maintenance could push the next effort into mid-July.

With a crowded launch schedule backing up further every week, and United Launch Alliance ratcheting up pressure with a new pr campaign designed to highlight its many years of experience, the difficulties in getting the Orbcomm mission off the ground are looming larger and larger as a serious issue for SpaceX. At the same time however, any number of delays are preferable to a launch failure.

Updates to come

Posted in: SpaceX

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