Sensor issue forces scrub of SpaceX Falcon 9 NRO intelligence launch

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX hopes to try again Monday morning to launch a classified U.S. intelligence mission from Kennedy Space Center, after a sensor problem scrubbed a first attempt Sunday.

Liftoff by a 230-foot Falcon 9 rocket and the National Reconnaissance Office's NROL-76 mission is targeted for 7 a.m., at the opening of a two-hour window.

There's a 70 percent chance of favorable weather, according to the Air Force's 45th Weather Squadron, with liftoff winds and upper-level clouds potential concerns.

Sunday's launch attempt was called off with just under a minute remaining in the countdown to a planned 7:15 a.m. blastoff.

"Hold, hold, hold," the launch director called out.

Scientists found a no-frills way to build on Mars

"The team was looking into a sensor issue on the first stage that was a bit out of family with what we were expecting," SpaceX engineer John Federspiel explained on the company's countdown webcast. "Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to scrub today’s launch."

A next attempt should proceed Monday if the sensor problem is resolved.

After the launch on a northeastern trajectory, SpaceX will try to land the rocket's first stage on a pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, part of ongoing efforts to recover and reuse Falcon rockets.

SpaceX on March 30 successfully re-launched a previously flown Falcon booster for the first time during launch of a commercial satellite from KSC.

The current mission is the company’s first dedicated launch for the NRO, the nation’s “eyes and ears in space,” and its fifth flight of 2017.

Follow James Dean on Twitter: @flatoday_jdean

© Gannett Co., Inc. 2017. All Rights Reserved


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment