4 Mar 2016

SpaceX to launch, hopefully land rocket today [Updated]

After scrubs for fuel loading issues, weather, and stray boats, what's next?

The SES-9 satellite is ready to go. Will we see a launch this evening?
Update 2: According to the founder of SpaceX Elon Musk, the first stage booster SpaceX "arose hard" on droneship, which was the expected result of a rocket returning from a high velocity with limited fuel in slow motion.

Musk said that the company will have a better chance of nailing a landing sea-based with the upcoming launch of the Falcon 9 rocket, which will probably be a cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station. A launch to the station leave more propellant to return to Earth, increasing the chances of success. This launch is currently scheduled for no earlier than 30 March.

Update: The Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched, though it was not immediately clear that the first step was able to land safely on the barge approximately 600km off the coast of Florida. drone ship pictures before the video stream is death, were not quite promising.

About 30 minutes after the second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket shot, delivering successful satellite into orbit. He now mostly follow the coast to 36 000 km.

Original story: here we go again. Four times SpaceX attempted to launch the telecommunications satellite SES-9, and four times the company's rocket rub. For the launch attempt today to 6 h 35 HE (11:35 p.m. UK) weather does not seem to be a constraint, so we will follow again mainly for fuel-feed problems.

The most spectacular of the four scrubs arrived Sunday as, like the launch countdown reaches zero, flight computers aboard the rocket stopped the launch because of a low detection. Elon Musk, the company's CEO, said that this was partly due to a 35 minute delay caused by a boat that strayed into the security zone off the Florida coast.


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With its new variant, most powerful of the Falcon 9 rocket, SpaceX is having to manage this super-cold propellant, dense with more care, and one of the things he's trying to do is provide the right amount of fuel just before the launch. Issues related to the propellant caused the first two scrubs. Tuesday, the latest scrub, came because of strong winds. SpaceX waited to die down, and they have now.

As with other recent launches, SpaceX will try again once its booster to fly to an automated ship in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida. However, because it is a high orbit (about 36 000 km above the equator) and require a heavyweight with more fuel and more speed, bringing back security in all the land is far from a sure thing. In addition, at 5, 300kg, is the heaviest load that SpaceX has tried to put in a geostationary orbit. Yet, according to the company, it will make a new attempt at a historic first, a landing orbital rocket on an offshore platform. "The first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket will attempt a landing on the experimental droneship" of course, I Still Love You "," SpaceX said in its press release. "Given the unique GTO profile of this mission, a successful landing should not. "

The company's previous tries to successfully land a rocket at sea have failed, but the last attempt in January came close. One of the rocket's four landing legs failed to lock out, even as the Falcon 9 booster made a feathery touchdown on the drone ship in high seas. Today's landing attempt should occur about 10 minutes after launch.