SpaceX Orbcomm Launch Now Reset for Sunday Night


The SpaceX / Orbcommlaunch which had been scheduled for Thursday evening has now been moved back until Sunday evening.

Orbcomm posted the following on its website today:

“The OG2 Mission 1 Launch is scheduled for Sunday, June 15 at 8:00 pm ET with Monday, June 16 as the back-up launch date.

During final integration on one of the OG2 spacecraft, we encountered a minor issue resulting in a few extra days of delay to perform precautionary steps to ensure there are no operational concerns with the satellite.

We intend to re-encapsulate the satellites this evening, with static test firing of the rocket scheduled for Thursday or Friday this week.”

Note: The opening of the launch window has now advanced by 67 minutes. If liftoff occurs on time, recovery  operations could begin just around dusk. Sunset is 8:24 pm (Orlando), but the booster will obviously be quite some distance to the East.  If nothing else, it should make for a stunning launch.

Original story

After encountering a helium leak during a fueling for a preflight static fire test on May 9,  the next Falcon 9 mission is on track for a Thursday night liftoff in a launch window which runs from 9:07 to 10:01 pm ET out of Cape Canaveral’s SLC-40.

SpaceX has not commented on the exact source of the leak, but speaking during the unveiling ceremony for new Dragon V2 spacecraft on May 29, Elon Musk referred to the problem, calling helium a “pernicious little molecule.”  The forward looking founder went on to suggest that the company is looking towards other alternatives for stage and pneumatic pressurization in the future, with an eye to what could be sourced on Mars. Yes, Mars.

Fortunately, that comment came before the recent National Academies report outlining prospects for the human exploration of Mars was released, so both Musk and SpaceX can be forgiven for not being informed that their efforts are almost certainly futile.

Thursday’s launch, which has a backup date on Friday, will apparently still feature a first stage booster recovery effort, albeit one which will necessarily be complicated by taking place at during the night hours.



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