SpaceX attempts new Falcon 9 launch, sea-based landing after ‘glitch’ delayed start
On Thursday, the Falcon 9 launch was delayed due to what Musk called “a tiny glitch.”
@SpaceX There was a tiny glitch in the motion of an upper stage engine actuator. Probably not a flight risk, but still worth investigating.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 26, 2016
The second "backup" two-hour launch window for the next attempt opened at 5:39pm ET.
Falcon 9 has blasted off from a launchpad at Cape Canaveral, Florida bringing a 3,000kg telecommunications satellite Thaicom 8 into a geostationary transfer orbit 20,000 miles above Earth.
THAICOM 8 spacecraft has been deployed into a nominal supersynch transfer orbit pic.twitter.com/u6W7s3MqxB— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 27, 2016
Satellite deployed to 91,000 km apogee. All looks good.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 27, 2016
"When THAICOM 8 launches, it will strengthen Thaicom’s broadcast platform at 78.5 degrees east longitude – providing South Asia and Southeast Asia with broadcast and data services," the company said in a statement.
However, this evening all eyes have been on the sea-based landing attempt on a platform in the Atlantic.
Rocket landing speed was close to design max & used up contingency crush core, hence back & forth motion. Prob ok, but some risk of tipping.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 27, 2016
Late last year, the company managed to land its first reusable rocket on solid ground. This spring, SpaceX also successfully landed two of its rockets on an autonomous floating barge.
On May 6, the unmanned SpaceX rocket launched from Florida to put the JCSAT 14 communications satellite into orbit for th Tokyo-based SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation. The “trip” was followed by a successful landing on a platform in the Atlantic Ocean, which became the second successful touchdown in a row. The first one was in April.
By the end of this year, SpaceX expects to have launched a total of 18 rockets, which is two times more than last year's total.