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SpaceX Delays Historic Third Launch of Used Rocket (and Its Flock of Satellites)

Spaceflight story won’t be done Monday (Nov. 19) after all.

A two-stage SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket topped with during slightest 64 little satellites had been scheduled to launch during 1:31 p.m. EST (1831 GMT) Monday from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base. 

This Falcon 9’s initial theatre already has dual flights underneath a belt, and Monday’s liftoff was to symbol a first-ever third goal for a SpaceX rocket core. But we’ll have to wait a little while longer for that miracle to be met. [See a Evolution of SpaceX’s Rockets in Pictures]

“Standing down from Monday’s launch try of Spaceflight SSO-A: SmallSat Express to control additional pre-flight inspections. Once complete, we will endorse a new launch date,” SpaceX member pronounced around Twitter on Saturday (Nov. 17).

They did not offer serve details, so it’s misleading what emanate stirred a call for serve inspection.

The Falcon 9 initial theatre that will assistance loft SSO-A has already flown twice this year. It launched the Bangabandhu-1 communications satellite for a supervision of Bangladesh in May and the Merah Putih satellite for PT Telkom Indonesia in August.

Such reuse is a pivotal priority for SpaceX and a owner and CEO Elon Musk, who aim to condense a cost of spaceflight by drifting rockets frequently and repeatedly. A third launch of a same Falcon 9 rocket would therefore symbol a poignant step toward achieving a company’s long-term goals.

Along these same lines: SpaceX had been formulation to reuse Falcon 9 top stages as well, though that’s no longer in a cards, Musk announced yesterday.

“Btw, SpaceX is no longer formulation to ascent Falcon 9 second theatre for reusability. Accelerating BFR instead. New pattern is really exciting! Delightfully counter-intuitive,” Musk pronounced around Twitter.

The BFR, or “Big Falcon Rocket,” is a huge, reusable rocket-spaceship twin that SpaceX is building to assistance get people to Mars and other destinations via a solar system. The initial BFR Mars missions could launch in a 2020s if all goes according to plan, Musk has said. (You can review about the new BFR pattern here.)

The BFR will be a versatile complement able of carrying out all of SpaceX’s designed activities, from rising satellites to ferrying people on point-to-point trips around Earth, Musk has said. Indeed, SpaceX aims to proviso out a Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets, and a Dragon capsule, after a BFR comes online.

When SSO-A rises off, it will lift during slightest 64 little satellites to low-Earth orbit. These payloads are a opposite lot; some-more than 30 of them were supposing by general organizations that together engage 18 opposite countries, according to member of Spaceflight, a mission-management provider that put a moody together.

That crazy satellite sum is not an all-time record. In Feb 2017, an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle rocket launched 104 spacecraft, a immeasurable infancy of them little “nanosats,” to Earth orbit.

Mike Wall’s book about a hunt for visitor life, “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate) is out now. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us @Spacedotcom or Facebook. Originally published on Space.com

Article source: https://www.space.com/42479-spacex-rocket-third-flight-sso-a-launch-delay.html