Elon Musk and Space X might dream of space travel that is as common as a plane flight, but we are far, far away from that future if this week’s aborted launch attempts are any indication. Imagine if you had your flight canceled twice, the last one just minutes before take off. That, unfortunately, is the reality of SpaceX latest launch mission, which has now twice been canceled, first due to inclement weather and now due to technical difficulties, the latter just 2 minutes before launch.
This launch would have been SpaceX’s second mission for 2016, which would see it launch an SES-9 communications satellite into orbit. Unlike SpaceX’s more sensational flights, however, the company wasn’t exactly banking on making a safe landing this time around, though it’ll still try if it can. For all intents and purposes, it should have simply been an uneventful, regular trip.
Of course, at least for now, each space launch is anything but uneventful. In addition to carefully mapping out the trajectory and flight path of the rocket, launches are at the mercy of weather changes even more than planes. So when Wednesday’s scheduled flight was met with rough conditions, SpaceX had no choice but to postpone it for the next day.
That next day has come and, sadly, gone without a launch. This time, the problem was on the SpaceX side, with the company unable to load the rocket with liquid oxygen. The decision to cancel the launch was made just 2 minutes away from pushing the button, so to speak. Given that the mission has now twice been delayed, there is no announced schedule yet when the next launch will take place. Maybe third time will be yet another charm, like SpaceX’s historic landing.
The delay does give the company a bit more time to prepare for a landing as well. Like before, it will attempt to land the rocket at sea. But considering the launch has SpaceX’s heaviest payload so far, and therefore require a heavier rocket with more fuel, SpaceX isn’t that optimistic.
VIA: Business Insider