All SpaceX wants to do this week is launch a rocket. Unfortunately, it seems like it won’t be able to do that, after a third attempted launch was scrubbed on Thursday morning. With poor weather forecasted for the next two days, SpaceX might not get a chance to try again until Saturday.
Standing down today due to weather. Vehicle and payload remain in good health. Working toward the next best launch opportunity; will announce a new launch date once confirmed on the Range. pic.twitter.com/OZaPqaTOFw
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 20, 2018
The payload on top of the SpaceX rocket sitting on the ground in Cape Canaveral is a $500 million GPS satellite from Lockheed Martin, and it was supposed to be in space on Tuesday. That launch was cancelled minutes before liftoff when technicians spotted a faulty readout on the sensors equipped on the first-stage booster. The launch was then pushed to Wednesday, but that launch was canceled when the sensor problem appeared not to be fixed.
Today, the signal issue was definitely solved, and the SpaceX team were set to finally launch this $500 million satellite. Unfortunately, the weather is not cooperating. Thunderstorms and high winds have delayed this launch yet again, and those thunderstorms might not disappear until the weekend.
This launch is even more important for SpaceX than a usual one, because it’s the first National Security Space contract SpaceX has won. This satellite is the first of 32 such satellites that will be built by Lockheed, and are worth a combined $12.6 billion for the lucky rocket companies that get to send them into space. Having this launch go well is important for SpaceX because it ensures a better chance to win the remaining contracts.
So far, things could probably be going better.
Originally posted on Popular Mechanics