A SpaceX Falcon 9 two-stage rocket launches the NASA Kennedy Space Center's Bangabandhu-1 communications satellite on May 11, 2018. The same Falcon 9 stage launched another satellite in August 2018 and is scheduled to house at least 64 small satellites on the satellite. The shared mission SSO-A, which was scheduled to be released on November 19.
The story of space flight will not be made on Monday (November 19) after all.
A two-stage SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with at least 64 small satellites, was due to be launched at 13h31. EST (1831 GMT) on Monday at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
This first stage of Falcon 9 already has two flights, and Monday's takeoff was to mark the first third mission of a SpaceX rocket nucleus. But we will have to wait a little longer for this milestone to be achieved. [See the Evolution of SpaceX’s Rockets in Pictures]
"After the attempt to launch Spaceflight SSO-A: SmallSat Express on Monday for additional pre-flight inspections, we will confirm a new release date," said SpaceX representatives via Twitter on Saturday (November 17). ).
They did not offer more details, so it is not clear which problem led to the need for further inspection.
The first stage of Falcon 9 that will help the SSO-A loft has flown twice this year. It launched the Bangabandhu-1 communications satellite to the Bangladeshi government in May and the Merah Putih satellite to PT Telkom Indonesia in August.
This reuse is a key priority for SpaceX and its founder and CEO Elon Musk, which aims to reduce the cost of space flights by flying frequently and repeatedly. A third launch of the same Falcon 9 rocket would therefore be a significant step towards achieving the company's long-term goals.
In the same vein: SpaceX planned to reuse the upper stages of Falcon 9, but that is no longer in the cards, Musk announced yesterday.
"Btw, SpaceX is no longer planning to upgrade the second stage of Falcon 9 for re-use." Speeding up the BFR The new design is very exciting – Deliciously counterintuitive, "Musk said via Twitter.
The BFR, or "Big Falcon Rocket," is a huge pair of rockets and reusable spacecraft that SpaceX is developing to help get people to Mars and other destinations throughout the solar system. The first BFR Mars missions could be launched in the 2020s if everything goes according to plan, Musk said. (You can read about the new BFR design here.)
The BFR will be a versatile system capable of executing all of SpaceX's planned activities, from launching satellites to crossing people on point-to-point journeys across Earth, Musk said. In fact, SpaceX intends to phase out its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets, and its Dragon capsule, after the BFR goes live.
When SSO-A takes off, it will take at least 64 small satellites into Earth's low orbit. These charges are very diverse; More than 30 of them were provided by international organizations that together involve 18 different countries, according to Spaceflight representatives, the mission management provider who set up the flight.
This total of crazy satellites is not a record of all time. In February 2017, a rocket from the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle of India launched 104 spacecraft, the vast majority of them tiny "nanosats", into Earth's orbit.
Mike Wall's book on the search for alien life "Out there"(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; Karl Tate) is out now. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow Us @Spacedotcom or Facebook. Originally posted in Space.com.