Spaceflight

SpaceX forced to scrub Falcon 9 rocket launch

The launch is being hailed as a massive leap forward in the effort to make spaceflight more affordable

 

SpaceX was forced to cancel the planned launch Sunday of a Falcon 9 rocket due to a sensor issue, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

The launch was scrubbed less than a minute before liftoff and a new launch is planned for Monday at 7 a.m. at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

The Falcon 9, according to the paper, will send one of its launch vehicles into space from the Space Coast and it will be carrying a spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office.

The launch will be the first time SpaceX is doing business with the U.S. Department of Defense, which has previously worked exclusively with United Launch Alliance, a SpaceX competitor.

The SpaceX launch is big industry news, as it signals a competitive bidding process on national security contracts.

“This satellite was going to launch from Florida anyway,” Space Florida’s chief of strategic alliances Dale Ketcham said previously. “But it reflects more competition. That will drive down prices and could result in it being cheaper to get into space, meaning more launches. Competition is a good thing.”

“It’s a very big deal,” Justin Karl, program coordinator of Commercial Space Operations at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, told the Sentinel. “For government orbital launches, there are very few flight provider options. That is a huge segment of a changing market they have potentially captured.”