Update: The ULA cleared today’s attempt to launch the NROL-44 after the launch site weather deteriorated significantly. The next launch of the Delta IV Heavy rocket is now scheduled for no earlier than 11:58 p.m. EDT (03:58 UTC), Tuesday, September 29, just two hours after the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 the U.S. Army’s fourth upgraded GPS III satellite.
The eleventh launch of SpaceX for the year of StarX was cleared ~ 30 seconds before takeoff due to bad weather, probably delaying the mission for a few days and leaving the last attempt to launch the Delta IV Heavy on the ULA next.
Scheduled to take off at 1
It’s no secret that SpaceX has become the most successful private startup in history and a trading force to keep in mind, easily outpacing the United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Arianespace to acquire most of it. from the market share of the trade start. The Falcon 9 is set to become the fastest commercial rocket in history, overcoming a milestone of 100 launches, and SpaceX is now set to launch entire countries with more than 20 missions a year on a regular basis. The biggest risk the company faces is perhaps complacency and the scandalous trend known as “start-up fever”.
At the peak of space flight, constant, comprehensive vigilance is ultimately the only thing that stands between a reliable rocket or spaceship and a catastrophic failure. Perhaps the greatest threat to this vigilance is the somewhat understandable desire to avoid launch delays, a fact of rocket life that nevertheless costs time, money, and (for some) reputation. The term “launch” or “fever outbreak” was originally used to describe the irresponsible managerial pressure to launch, largely responsible for the catastrophic failures of NASA’s space shuttle.
Some (if not most) parts of SpaceX would almost certainly prefer to avoid a startup delay. The fact that the company continues to accept Starlink launch delays and adheres to Falcon 9 restrictions strongly suggests that SpaceX has found ways to prevent the launch of a fever while enveloping the launch rhythm and reuse of missiles. For example, Starlink-12 was originally supposed to launch on September 17, but was delayed by ~ 10 days from strong ocean currents before being washed away seconds before launching on September 28. Combined with the fact that SpaceX is technically free to take more risk on its own Starlink launches, complex delays will inevitably test the limits of any organization’s determination.
While the argument that SpaceX is technically the only direct participant in Starlink’s missions is an unscrupulous argument that can easily lead to increased risk tolerance, this is only true in a vacuum. The failure of the Falcon 9 during the launch of Starlink will still have major consequences for all SpaceX customers, especially the postponement of critical launches by NASA and US astronauts until the completion of a lengthy accident investigation. SpaceX executives and managers involved in release / ban decisions clearly understand this and act accordingly.
Starlink-12 will probably be recycled for a new launch attempt sometime after the next launch of the Delta IV Heavy and probably after SpaceX’s own GPS III SV04 mission for the US Army, scheduled no earlier than (NET) 00:02 EDT (04:02 UTC) and 21:55 EDT (01:55 UTC), on September 29, respectively. Catch the latest attempt to launch the NROL-44 ULA in the company’s official webcast below.
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