Anticipation turned to disappointment late Thursday afternoon, both at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Elon Musk’s SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, when the second launch attempt of the Falcon 9 rocket was halted 1:40 seconds before liftoff.
Concerns about rocket’s liquid oxygen temperature, which also prompted the cancellation of the Falcon 9 rocket launch Wednesday, was cited as the reason for today’s aborted launch.
According to a company statement released Wednesday, it is important that oxygen temperatures are “as cold as possible to maximize performance of the vehicle.” The Falcon 9 uses super-chilled liquid oxygen and rocket-grade kerosene to propel it into the heavens.
The main goal of this week’s launch was to send SES-9, a commercial communications satellite, into orbit. Its second objective was to land the 14-story rocket booster upright on a drone ship named Of Course I Still Love You, although company sources today predicted its fourth at-sea landing attempt would end up in flames like the previous three.
In December, SpaceX made history when a Falcon 9 landed successfully on the ground about six miles from where it took off.
A new launch date is pending.
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.