SpaceX again scrubs rocket launch from Cape Canaveral

ULA targets night launch from California

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, stands ready at space launch complex 40, shortly before the launch was scrubbed at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla. on Dec. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - For the second time in two days, SpaceX has scrubbed the launch of its Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral.

"Standing down from (Wednesday's) launch attempt of GPS III SV01 to further evaluate out of family reading on first stage sensors; will confirm a new launch date once complete," SpaceX tweeted.

No other details were immediately known.

 

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Twenty-four hours after SpaceX scrubbed the launch of a U.S. Air Force next-generation GPS satellite, the commercial space company is back for round two.

SpaceX scrubbed its first national security launch for the U.S. Air Force on Tuesday due to a faulty reading on one of the rocket sensors, officials said.

The Falcon 9 rocket and GPS III payload remained healthy on Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for another try Wednesday. The launch window opens at 9:07 a.m.

Officials with the 45th Space Wing are giving the launch forecast an 80 percent chance of good weather.

The Lockheed Martin-built satellite is the first of the U.S. Air Force’s third-generation Global Positioning System III satellites.

The new GPS III satellite configuration was built to deliver better navigation, timing and accuracy to more than 4 billion GPS users around the world. The completely re-designed next generation of satellites are also eight times more resistant to jamming and can be updated while in orbit.

Once the satellite reaches medium Earth orbit, Air Force Command will operate the satellite using the new Ground Operations Systems, or OCX, developed by defense contractor Raytheon. It's the most cyber secure space system in the U.S. Department of Defense.

“GPS OCX launch and checkout system will command the satellite to execute key maneuvers, including controlling the burns to get the satellite into desired orbit,” said Bishi Das, Raytheon GPS OCX launch and checkout system director. 

The full suite of GPS III satellites is expected to be operational by 2021.

The Space Coast launch was the first of three U.S. missions scrubbed Tuesday. 

Blue Origin planned to launch its New Shepard rocket with NASA-sponsored science on board in Texas. That 9:30 a.m. ET liftoff was delayed due to a ground issue. A United Launch Alliance launch for the National Reconnaissance Office in California was scrubbed later on Tuesday due to high ground winds.

ULA will again attempt to launch the Delta 4 Heavy on Wednesday from Space Launch Complex 6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base and this time the forecast is in its favor.

The forecast indicates an 80 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for launch, according to Air Force weather officials.

Blue Origin officials were reviewing the weather and have not announced a new launch date for the 10th flight of the New Shepard rocket.

Check back for updates on these launches and watch the liftoffs live in this story on Clickorlando.com.

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