Unusual Last-Second Cancellation Plagues SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Launch

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket experienced a last-minute abort during its planned launch of 22 Starlink internet satellites from Florida on 14 June. The SpaceX booster, which has been successfully launched 15 times previously, had to abort its launch as its nine first-stage engines were igniting. The cause of the abort is currently unknown, and it is unclear when SpaceX will attempt to relaunch the Starlink mission. The launch had a four-hour window, and a similar window is available on 15 June.

SpaceX announced the cancellation of the day’s Falcon 9 launch via an update, stating that a new target launch date would be shared once determined. However, whether SpaceX will attempt a launch on 15 June is likely to depend on the nature of the technical issue that caused the abort and how quickly it can be resolved. It’s worth noting that two previous attempts to launch the Starlink flight were delayed due to bad weather conditions on 12 and 13 June.

The upcoming launch, when it happens, will represent SpaceX’s 60th rocket launch of 2024 and the 16th flight for this specific Falcon 9 first-stage. This particular booster has previously launched various missions, including SES-22, Amazonas-6, CRS-27, Bandwagon-1, and 10 Starlink missions. Post-launch, the Falcon 9 stage is expected to land on a SpaceX drone ship off the Florida coast for subsequent reuse.

This mission is part of SpaceX’s broader project to create a megaconstellation network of satellites capable of providing high-speed internet access to any location on Earth. Currently, this constellation comprises nearly 6,100 operational Starlink satellites. So far this year, SpaceX has carried out close to 60 missions, with 45 of these dedicated to launching Starlink satellites. This equates to an average of a rocket launch every 2.7 days.

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