July 21, 2024


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A SpaceX rocket stopped working after engines caught fire on Friday at Cape Canaveral

A SpaceX rocket stopped working after engines caught fire on Friday at Cape Canaveral

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As a SpaceX webcast announcer counted down the final 10 seconds of the Falcon 9 launch attempt on Friday, he said “ignition” as the clock struck zero. Fast-moving fumes and smoke billowed from the bottom of the 230-foot-tall rocket at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

But the Falcon 9’s flight computers — which control the launch countdown during the final minute before liftoff — quickly shut down the engines.

“Cancel,” the announcer said three seconds after T-0.

Cape Canaveral: Is there a launch today? SpaceX, NASA, and ULA’s upcoming rocket launch schedule in Florida

After an unusual post-ignition session at 5:07 PM EST, SpaceX announced that “a new target launch date will be shared once available.” No further information has been revealed publicly.

SpaceX’s Starlink 10-2 mission was postponed Wednesday and canceled Thursday amid bad weather generated by Invest 90L before Friday’s dramatic shutdown at Launch Complex 40. The Falcon 9 rockets are propelled by nine Merlin engines, which use kerosene and liquid oxygen as fuel .

When eventually launched, the rocket will deploy a constellation of 22 Starlink Internet broadcasting satellites into low Earth orbit.

Friday’s rub could impact SpaceX’s Monday launch of the Astra 1P satellite, which will broadcast satellite TV channels across Germany, France and Spain, for Luxembourg-based satellite operator SES. The Falcon 9 mission is also scheduled to launch at Launch Complex 40. No announcements have been made as of Friday night.

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Elsewhere on the SpaceX front, the FAA will collect feedback from 6pm to 8pm on Monday during a virtual meeting on future Starship-Super Heavy launches from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The FAA is the lead agency drafting Starship’s environmental impact statement.

  • Enlarge URL: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89402979916
  • Zoom Meeting ID: 894 0297 9916
  • Optional contact numbers: 833-928-4608, 833-928-4609 or 833-928-4610.

“This project will have beneficial impacts on our city. Your contributions and feedback are important! Be sure to let the FAA know what you think of the project and the impacts it may have on your city,” Cape Canaveral City Council officials said in a statement. Posted on Friday on Facebook.

For the latest news and launch schedule from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, visit floridatoday.com/space.

Rick Neil He is Florida Today’s space correspondent. Contact Neal on [email protected]. Twitter/X: @Rick Neal1

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