Rocket Issue Forces SpaceX To Abort Starlink Launch At Last Second

Pablo Tucker
March 16, 2020

Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9's first stage on the "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

The launch will carry 60 extra Starlink broadband web satellites to their low Earth orbit vacation spot, utilizing a Falcon 9 rocket with a booster that flew 4 instances beforehand, together with twice in 2018 and twice final 12 months, most lately in November for one more Starlink mission. The launch will bring 60 more Starlink broadband Internet satellites to their low Earth orbit destination, using a Falcon 9 rocket with a propeller that flew four times previously, including twice in 2018 and twice past year, most recently in November for another Starlink mission.

The latest launch of the satellites was supposed to take place on March 15 at 9:22 am EDT at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.

The countdown appeared to go smoothly until engine startup at 9:22 a.m. EDT.

"Standing down today; standard auto-abort triggered due to out of family data during engine power check".

The launch of the next batch of Starlink satellites is highly likely to still go ahead. According to SpaceX officials, the launch stopped at the T-0 mark of the countdown.

"We had a condition regarding engine power that caused us to abort today's launch", supply chain supervisor Michael Andrews said.

"There are a thousand ways a launch can go wrong, but only one way the launch can go right", Andrews stated.

SpaceX test-fired the rocket's nine first stage Merlin engines Friday in an exercise the California rocket builder carries out before every Falcon 9 launch to make sure the rocket's propulsion system, flight computers and other critical components are operating normally.

"Given that we are overly cautious on the ground, and if the team or the vehicle see anything that just looks even slightly off, we'll stop the countdown", according to Andrews. Three hundred Starlinks were launched during five previous missions as the company ramps up to begin limited commercial service across the northern USA and Canada later this year.

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