SpaceX launch set for 5:05 Pacific

SpaceX launch set for 5:05 Pacific

SpaceX launch set for 5:05 Pacific

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
March 20 2007 3:15 PM

SpaceX launch set for 5:05 Pacific

Update (7:00 p.m. Pacific time): Well, that'll teach me to go to dinner! A few minutes after the abort, the folks at SpaceX figured out what happened: sensors said the fuel was too cold. Well, that's enough to fix. They waited a little while! A phone call interrupted my dinner: a friend was telling me the launch was two minutes ago! Figures. Evidently, the second reached 300 km, which was the objective, but (for reasons I don't yet know) it re-entered the atmosphere. According to Space Pragmatism, Elon Musk (head of SpaceX) said that 90% of the goals were achieved, so this was an excellent day for the company.

My congrats to the whole team!

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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Update (5:07 p.m. Pacific time): NUTS. Aborted. I'll have more info later.

OK, SpaceX has reset the launch of the Falcon 1 rocket for 5:05 Pacific time today (Tuesday). I have heard they are loading the liquid oxygen into the tanks right now. The weather looks good, too. Let's hope they do it tonight!

Yesterday's launch abort was due to a software glitch; nothing serious (it was a minor difference between how simulations are run and how real hardware behaves; a reality in testing that can be totally innocuous or can lose you your ship). They decided to take a day to breathe and make sure the fix was correct, and they are ready to go now -- just an hour or so from when I write this.

Updates will be posted in this entry as I hear them.

Update 1 (4:29 p.m. Pacific time, T-37 minutes): NASASpaceFlight (not a NASA site) has a lot of info on this launch and the payload. Basically, the rocket is launching a package that provides information on how the rocket is performing. The second stage of the rocket will be placed into a low-Earth orbit, and they'll be getting telemetry on it.