SpaceX Targeting Saturday (Now Sunday) Morning Launch for AsiaSat 6

Update: According to the Air Force, SpaceX has moved the AsiaSat launch date to the same time on Sunday morning. Neither SpaceX or AsiaSat has posted anything regarding the launch.

Original story

Florida Today reports that SpaceX is apparently targeting a 12:50 AM EDT launch for the AsiaSat 6 comsat headed to geostationary transfer orbit. The window extends to 4:04 AM.

The launch, which was originally scheduled for the early hours of August 26, was placed on hold after a three engine version of the Falcon 9 first stage was lost in a RLV testing accident at the company’s McGregor rocket development facility on August 22nd.

The delay was ordered to allow engineers time to search for any possible commonality between the Falcon 9R-Dev test article in Texas and the fully operational Falcon 9 V1.1 booster at Cape Canaveral. In an update posted on the SpaceX website, the company attributed the failure to a blocked sensor port, going on to observe that had the same thing occurred on an operational launch, the redundant flight control system would have polled multiple sensors, with the individual blocked unit losing a vote.

During a FISO presentation last week, SpaceX’s Garrett Reisman shed more light on incident, clarifying the fact that the test article initiated an auto-destruct procedure when in exceeded a pre-set lateral boundary.

Today’s reports of a Saturday launch would appear to confirm SpaceX’s confidence that there is no risk to the AsiaSat mission related to the incident.

One thing to watch, NASA is still listing the launch date of the SpaceX/CRS-4 mission as NET (No Earlier Than) September 19.

Posted in: SpaceX

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