SpaceX Aborts Thanksgiving Rocket Launch Due to Engine Trouble

February 7, 2014 – 10:15 am

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket performs an automatic abort just before the first of two launch attempts to loft the SES-8 communications satellite into orbit from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Nov. 28, 2013.iTopped with a television broadcasting satellite, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket fired its engines and was moments away from liftoff from Cape Canaveral on Thursday, but the commercial booster aborted the launch after computers detected the engines were too slow building up thrust.
Engineers raced to understand and resolve the problem, but they could not get comfortable enough to attempt the launch again before Thursday's time-constrained flight opportunity closed.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket performs an automatic abort just before the first of two launch attempts to loft the SES-8 communications satellite into orbit from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Nov. 28, 2013.
Credit: SpaceX

Officials had not announced a new target launch date Thursday evening, but SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk posted on his Twitter account the mission would likely be delayed a few days. [See photos of SpaceX's milestone Falcon 9 rocket mission]

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket stands poised to launch the SES-8 communications satellite into orbit from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The November 2013 mission will be SpaceX's first launch of an upgraded Falcon 9 rocket from Florida.SpaceX was targeting liftoff of the 22-story rocket at 5:39 p.m. EST (2239 GMT) Thursday, aiming to achieve the first Thanksgiving Day launch from Florida's Space Coast since 1959. The launch was pushed back to Thursday after multiple technical problems thwarted an initial launch attempt Monday.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket stands poised to launch the SES-8 communications satellite into orbit from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The November 2013 mission will be SpaceX's first launch of an upgraded Falcon 9 rocket from Florida.
Credit: SpaceX

The rocket's mission is to place the SES 8 television broadcasting satellite into orbit more than 50, 000 miles above Earth, the highest altitude ever achieved by a SpaceX launch.

Musk and industry officials say the flight is critical to SpaceX's future in the commercial launch market, in which it competes against stalwart launch vehicles from Europe and Russia to haul large telecommunications satellites into orbit.


Source: www.space.com

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  • avatar If you were to launch a rocket in September 2013 what certain date would it have to be on
    • The dates of the "launch window" all depend on where you want the spacecraft to go,
      which the question neglects to mention.
      Launch vehicles work on very slim fuel margins. In other words, with a payload as light as possible
      and a booster loaded to the skin with fuel, the mission is designed to just barely get where it's going
      on the minimum possible fuel, and run out of gas exactly when it arrives there.
      The reason for launching at the right time: They don't have the gas to go joy-riding around chasing the moon
      or the planet they're after. They're traveling the route they can manage wit…