The Elon Musk-owned SpaceX has just revealed it has had to abort its latest launch launch with only seconds to spare. This launch was intended to blast its latest batch of Starlink internet satellites into near-Earth orbit.
There were reportedly only 18 seconds left on the clock prior to its scheduled blast-off.
There’s a thousand ways that a launch can go wrong and only one way it can go right
Although investigations remain underway, the cause of the cancellation is thought to relate to an anomalous ground-sensor reading at the Florida launchpad.
SpaceX has not yet revealed when the next launch window for the rocket will take place.
SpaceX wrote in a statement on Wednesday: “Targeting Thursday, October 1, at 9.17am EDT for launch of Starlink.
SpaceX launch ABORTED: SpaceX has aborted their latest launch with just seconds to spare
“Due to a conflict on the Range, now targeting launch of GPS III04 on Friday, October 2; 15 minute window opens at 9.43pm EDT.”
However, the news is not all that surprising.
The US Space Force had given SpaceX only a 70 percent chance of favourable weather for the launch window.
SpaceX engineer Siva Bharadvaj, said after announcing the abort: “The purpose of countdown is to help us catch potential issues prior to flight.
“There’s a thousand ways that a launch can go wrong and only one way it can go right.”
Despite the ground-sensor reading the rocket remained in fine condition.
Dr Bharadvaj added: ”Overall, the vehicle does appear to be in good health.”
When the Falcon 9 rocket eventually launches, it will deliver the 13th batch of approximately 60 SpaceX Starlink satellites into orbit.
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These will join SpaceX’s growing super-constellation intended to provide internet services.
These will in particular focus on remote areas currently poorly connected.
Prior to this morning’s abort, the launch had been delayed by a fortnight by bad weather.
However, this latest launch remains marred with controversy because it is adding to SpaceX’s swelling constellation of satellites in near-Earth orbit.
The Elon Musk-owned SpaceX has just revealed it has had to abort its latest launch launch
here are now more than 700 of the SpaceX satellites over Earth.
And SpaceX intends to install a mega-constellations of tens of thousands hurtling around the planet.
The ambitious mission is worrying astronomers who have already observed Starlink trails ruining night-time observations.
The International Astronomical Union recently wrote: “We do not yet understand the impact of thousands of these visible satellites scattered across the night sky and despite their good intentions, these satellite constellations may threaten both.”
As a result, SpaceX head Elon Musk has promised to reduce the amount of sunlight the Starlink satellites reflect back to Earth.
The reusable rocket company said in a statement: “SpaceX is committed to making future satellite designs as dark as possible.
“We also firmly believe in the importance of a natural night sky for all of us to enjoy, which is why we have been working with leading astronomers around the world to better understand the specifics of their observations and engineering changes we can make to reduce satellite brightness.”