Space

DSCOVR launch delayed

DSCOVR launch delayed
The latest Falcon 9 launch has been delayed 24 hours (Photo: NASA/Kim Shiflett)
The latest Falcon 9 launch has been delayed 24 hours (Photo: NASA/Kim Shiflett)
View 10 Images
SpaceX Falcon with DSCOVR payload (Photo: NASA/Kim Shiflett)
1/10
SpaceX Falcon with DSCOVR payload (Photo: NASA/Kim Shiflett)
DSCOVR in fairing atop Falcon 9 (Photo: NASA/Kim Shiflett)
2/10
DSCOVR in fairing atop Falcon 9 (Photo: NASA/Kim Shiflett)
Falcon 9 on the launch pad (Photo: NASA/Kim Shiflett)
3/10
Falcon 9 on the launch pad (Photo: NASA/Kim Shiflett)
Falcon 9 in preflight checks (Photo: NASA/Kim Shiflett)
4/10
Falcon 9 in preflight checks (Photo: NASA/Kim Shiflett)
The latest Falcon 9 launch has been delayed 24 hours (Photo: NASA/Kim Shiflett)
5/10
The latest Falcon 9 launch has been delayed 24 hours (Photo: NASA/Kim Shiflett)
Falcon 9 on launch day dawn (Photo: SpaceX)
6/10
Falcon 9 on launch day dawn (Photo: SpaceX)
Falcon 9 showing hypersonic vanes (Photo: SpaceX)
7/10
Falcon 9 showing hypersonic vanes (Photo: SpaceX)
DSCOVR/Falcon 9 launch mission patch (Image: SpaceX)
8/10
DSCOVR/Falcon 9 launch mission patch (Image: SpaceX)
9/10
Elon Musk preflight tweet (Image: SpaceX)
10/10
Elon Musk preflight tweet (Image: SpaceX)

Today's launch of NOAA's Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) has been delayed 24 hours. With less than two and a half minutes on the clock, mission control placed the launch from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida on hold due to problems in the first stage avionics and with one of the range safety radars.

Originally scheduled for 6:10 pm EST, February 8th, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, today's launch would have been SpaceX's second attempt at a controlled booster landing of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle.

In a preflight tweet, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said that the latest landing attempt will be much harder than previous ones because the booster was scheduled to reenter the Earth's atmosphere at deep-space return velocity, resulting in twice the force and four times the temperature. However, he also said that this time the Falcon 9 was carrying a surplus of hydraulic fluid, the lack of which caused the failure of the hypersonic vanes that guide the booster during reentry and caused January's crash.

Elon Musk preflight tweet (Image: SpaceX)
Elon Musk preflight tweet (Image: SpaceX)

The DSCOVR spacecraft is designed as a space weather station for keeping an eye on the Sun and giving Earth advanced warning of approaching solar flares that could disrupt communications and power grids.

According to a SpaceX spokesman, the launch has been rescheduled for Monday, February 9th at 6:07 pm EST.

Source: SpaceX

2 comments
Bill Bennett
The problem with the first stage avionics was a nonessential video driver, that was not the show stopper the range malfunction was.
Emlyn
The show stopper was the Air Force radar was down and unable to monitor the launch. Required for the aborting the launch.