SpaceX launch delayed again, this time because of weather

CAPE CANAVERAL Fla Sat Jun 21, 2014 11:20pm EDT

File picture of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a small science satellite for Canada is seen as it is launched from a newly refurbished launch pad in Vandenberg Air Force Station. REUTERS/Gene Blevins

File picture of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a small science satellite for Canada is seen as it is launched from a newly refurbished launch pad in Vandenberg Air Force Station.

Credit: Reuters/Gene Blevins

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CAPE CANAVERAL Fla (Reuters) - Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, on Saturday delayed the planned launch of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying six communications satellites after cloudy skies socked in its Florida launch site.

The privately owned company had rescheduled launch for Saturday after encountering a technical problem minutes before a launch attempt on Friday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The rocket carries six small satellites for Orbcomm Inc ORBC.O, a provider of machine-to-machine data and messaging services worldwide.

“Today's Orbcomm launch attempt has been scrubbed due to weather.” SpaceX wrote on its website.

A spokeswoman for Orbcomm said in an email that the next launch attempt would be 5:30 p.m. EDT/2130 GMT on Sunday.

SpaceX had 53 minutes to launch the rocket, beginning at 5:46 p.m. EDT/2146 GMT, to put the Orbcomm satellites into their designated orbits some 500 miles (800 km) above Earth and inclined 47 degrees relative to the equator.

The launch on Friday was called off after engineers detected unexpected pressure readings in the rocket’s second stage engine. SpaceX provided no additional details of the problem.

For Saturday's launch attempt, the California-based company, owned and operated by technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, canceled its webcast and provided no commentary about the launch countdown, a public service offered even for classified Department of Defense satellite launches.

“For the first time since the end of the Cold War, a space launch from Cape Canaveral will not be broadcast to the press and the public,” Spaceflightnow.com, which provides live launch coverage, wrote on its website.

SpaceX did not respond to emails about the blackout.

(Reporting by Irene Klotz; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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Comments (2)
ronryegadfly wrote:
Doesn’t speak well for SpaceX’s confidence in the rocket if they would blackout the launch.

Why do clouds cause the abortion of rocket launches? This has happened countless times over the years with NASA and now with SpaceX too. I’ve never understood the reason.

Jun 22, 2014 10:13am EDT  --  Report as abuse
The clouds obscure the view of the rocket really quickly, they observe the rocket from the ground as long as they can, so if something goes wrong they can see what, as well as many other reasons. With NASA and the shuttle it was even more important, given that an abort, and emergency landing in the shuttle could prove extremely challenging in thick cloud.

Jun 23, 2014 10:19am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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