SpaceX forced to scrub Falcon 9 rocket launch

In 2014, after perceiving that the US Air Force was unfairly favoring a competitor in the commercial launch industry, SpaceX sued the federal government. This was a mission for the United States military that saw SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket carrying a spy satellite into low-Earth orbit.

The SpaceX Falcon 9's first-stage engines fired up at 7:15 a.m. EDT and successfully launched the rocket from Florida's Space Coast, putting on an exciting show for tourists and residents in the area.

Several minutes into the flight, the first stage booster - its job done - aimed for a touchdown at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It will make improvement and the quirks in the first stage if any, to get it ready for another launch in any of the upcoming missions. It marked the company's first launch since a Falcon 9 rocket exploded at Cape Canaveral, Florida, in September.

The launch was initially planned for Sunday, but it was postponed in the last seconds before lift-off because of a sensor issue with the rocket, SpaceX said. Landing, refurbishing and reusing rockets is key to the company's vision of making space travel increasingly affordable. Across the country, cheers erupted at SpaceX Mission Control at company headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

"The NROL-76 launch will not be targeting a sun-synchronous orbit, typically used by the NRO's optical imaging satellites". SpaceX has made multiple landings on both land and water with its Falcon 9 boosters, and seems to have a pretty good grip on its efforts to promote reusability.

SpaceX has launched its first satellite for the U.S. military. During SpaceX's last launch, founder Elon Musk said the company attempted to recover the payload fairings - the nose cone on the top of the rocket that protects the payload. This explains that SpaceX is steadily moving towards achieving its ambitious mission of complete reusability - with an aim to cut down re-launch time to under 24 hours.

"Tough call, as high altitude wind shear was at 98.6% of the theoretical load limit", Musk wrote on Twitter.

For years, the market for launching U.S. military payloads was dominated by the United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

  • Carolyn Briggs