SpaceX aborts launch of GPS Satellite Two Seconds Before Liftoff.

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SpaceX aborted a scheduled launch of a US military GPS satellite on Friday night, 2nd October 2020. The company abort the launch just when there were about two seconds short in the countdown clock. The launch of the GPS satellite was to take place in a 15-minute window that opened at 6:43 p.m. PT. All the procedures seemed to be operating smoothly, until two seconds before launch. SpaceX was just starting the engine ignition sequence when it stopped the launch. The Falcon 9 rocket was ready to lift off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The Launch Abort of GPS III-4 And The Possibility Of The Next Launch

SpaceX tweeted a few minutes before 7 p.m PT that standing down from tonight’s launch attempt of GPS III-4. Though the Elon Musk-led company did not say whether a ground or flight vehicle issue was to blame for the halt. GPS III-4. Check out the tweet by the company here.

 

The next launch window for this mission is on Saturday at 9:39 p.m. EDT. This was confirmed by SpaceX principal integration engineer John Insprucker during launch commentary. He added that whether SpaceX will try the launch again on Saturday evening or not will depend on how long it takes the company to identify and solve the problem that led to the abort.

Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX and the US Space Force are getting along famously. Friday’s attempted launch in Florida follows a Space Force Falcon 9 launch in June 2020.

Once Elon Musk’s company launches the GPS satellite, it will attempt to land the Falcon 9’s first stage on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. The spacecraft was scheduled to deploy around 90 minutes after liftoff.

The GPS III Space Vehicle (SV) 04 is the fourth satellite in a series of GPS satellites that the US Space Force operates. The US Space Force is the newest branch of the military. It will join a larger satellite constellation already in orbit.

A Week Of Failed Launches

It has been a busy week for rocket launches that have not actually been launched. SpaceX was scheduled to send a new batch of Starlink communications satellites into orbit on a Falcon 9 on Thursday, 1st October 2020. But that launch was canceled and will be rescheduledUnited Launch Alliance was also intending to send up a Delta IV Heavy rocket on Wednesday, 30th September 2020 with a classified spy satellite. But a technical issue stopped their most recent attempt at launch.

The postponed Starlink launch combined with the US Space Force mission made for a nifty photo opportunity. SpaceX has shared a view on Twitter earlier this week of the two Falcon 9s on their separate launch pads. Check out the tweet of the two Falcon 9s here.

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