SpaceX delays Monday launch of Falcon 9 rocket from KSC
Rocket to launch no earlier than Friday, SpaceX says
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – The planned Monday afternoon launch of a Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center with a commercial communications satellite has been delayed, SpaceX said on Sunday, according to News 6 partner Florida Today.
The company tweeted that technical issues with a valve forced teams to delay the launch from pad 39A to no earlier than Friday with a second opportunity on Saturday.
Postponing launch to replace fairing pneumatic valve. It is dual redundant, but not worth taking a chance. https://t.co/vnfxmeer7h— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 18, 2017
"Standing down on BulgariaSat-1 to replace a fairing valve," the tweet read.
Air Force weather forecasters predicted questionable conditions during the two-hour launch window that opened at 2:10 p.m., citing cloud and storm-related concerns. Conditions were 40 percent "go" for the Monday launch attempt.
SpaceX did not offer specifics on a new launch time, Florida Today reported.
The company has been contracted to launch BulgariaSat-1, the country's first communications satellite designed to transmit television programming to the Balkans and southeastern Europe.
The launch will mark SpaceX's second attempt to launch and land a previously flown, or "flight proven," Falcon 9 first stage. It was recovered from a January launch of 10 Iridium NEXT satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. CEO Elon Musk sees the full-circle reusability as crucial to lowering launch costs and increasing access to space.
Due to fuel constraints, the first stage of the rocket will not land back at Cape Canaveral – instead, it will target a soft landing on the "Of Course I Still Love You" drone ship stationed a few hundred miles off the coast of Florida.
SpaceX is also targeting Sunday for the launch of more Iridium NEXT satellites from Vandenberg.
"Iridium targeted for 6/25 – could be a weekend doubleheader," the company said via Twitter.
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