SpaceX Orbcomm Launch Now Scheduled for June 11

According to an update posted on Orbcomm’s website, a new launch attempt has now been scheduled for June 11, with a backup slot available the next day.  The new date comes approximately one month after the previous effort scheduled for May 10 was scrubbed due to an undisclosed problem which occurred during fueling for a static test firing on May 9.

According to the Orbcomm update, company personnel, along with representatives from satellite manufacturer Sierra Nevada will travel to Cape Canaveral the during the first week of June to oversee reattachment of the payload fairing, which will be followed by another static test fire.

A related article in Space News points out just how vital the next launch and successful deployment of six second generation OG2 satellites is to Orbcomm’s bottom line.

As before. this launch will presumably include another first stage recovery effort, however the precise time for liftoff has yet to be published.

Coming as it does amidst a raging struggle between SpaceX and United Launch Alliance over fair competition and the right to bid on EELV launches, as well the related debate about the future of the U.S. launch industry and dependence on Russia, each new launch becomes a high stakes affair with no small amount on the line. For SpaceX, which has been racked up nine consecutive successful flights of the Falcon 9 booster,  but not without a string of delays, an on-time launch and successful satellite deployment is important, whereas a failure could have serious consequences.  At the same time, a successful first stage recovery could shatter the image of what constitutes the status quo in the launch industry, and metaphorically drive a stake through the EELV debate and surrounding arguments over whether the U.S. should attempt to re-create a nearly thirty year old Russian engine as the next decade’s “state of the art.”

Posted in: SpaceX

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