SpaceX scrubs launch attempt

Published On: Aug 27 2014 07:32:35 AM EDT

SpaceX scrubbed Wednesday morning's attempt to launch the AsiaSat 6 satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The company did not immediately provide an explanation or confirm a new launch date, but SpaceX CEO and chief designer Elon Musk said they plan to review all potential failure modes and contingencies again, expecting that they'll complete the process in one to two weeks.

Launch of a Falcon 9 rocket and the commercial communications satellite had been planned for 12:50 a.m., with the same time available Thursday as a backup date.

The mission had already been pushed back following a failed test flight Friday at SpaceX's rocket development facility in Texas.

"The natural question is whether this is related to the test vehicle malfunction at our development facility in Texas last week," Musk said. "After a thorough review, we are confident that there is no direct link. Had the same blocked sensor port problem occurred with an operational Falcon 9, it would have been outvoted by several other sensors. That voting system was not present on the test vehicle."

A single-stage, three-engine development booster automatically blew itself up after detecting a problem during a test of systems advancing reusable rocket technology, including vertical landings on legs.

SpaceX or its mission partners may have decided to take more time to ensure that whatever went wrong with the test vehicle poses no concern for the 224-foot Falcon 9 being readied for launch from the Cape.

"What we do want to triple check is whether even highly improbable corner case scenarios have the optimal fault detection and recovery logic," Musk said. "This has already been reviewed by SpaceX and multiple outside agencies, so the most likely outcome is no change. If any changes are made, we will provide as much detail as is allowed under U.S. law."


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