On Second Attempt, SpaceX Launches Rocket At NASA’s Historic Pad

Feb 20, 2017

By Colin Dwyer

To paraphrase an age-old saying: If at first you don’t succeed, well, dust off the historic launch pad and try another liftoff.

Not as catchy as the original, perhaps, but certainly fitting for SpaceX, which succeeded Sunday on its second launch attempt at NASA’s Launch Complex 39A, at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The first attempt, scrubbed Saturday with just 13 seconds before liftoff, was foiled by concerns over an anomaly discovered in the rocket’s steering system.

The issue was “99% likely to be fine,” Elon Musk, founder of the private space company, tweeted Saturday, “but that 1% chance isn’t worth rolling the dice. Better to wait a day.”

On Sunday, however, the launch went smoothly. Not only did SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket lift off without a hitch, its first stage also returned to land right back on a platform on Earth. Shortly afterward, the Dragon spacecraft it was carrying detached as planned from the rocket.

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3 comments on “On Second Attempt, SpaceX Launches Rocket At NASA’s Historic Pad

  • @OP – link – Launch Complex 39A was the site that sent the first humans to the moon in the 1969 Apollo 11 mission.

    It was the pad for a number of NASA’s most important missions — from its early days sending people to space, to the three decades of the space shuttle program.

    Now the pad, which hadn’t been used since that program ended in 2011, is getting dusted off for a new era “as a spaceport open for use by public — and commercial — missions to space,”
    NPR’s Rae Ellen Bichell reported for our Newscast unit.

    Space X is using old NASA launch facilities as a cheaper option than building its own new ones.

    Not only did SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket lift off without a hitch, its first stage also returned to land right back on a platform on Earth.

    If they can master this landing and reuse of big 1st stage booster rockets economically, that should reduce some of the waste involved in throw away launch vehicles.



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  • @OP- To paraphrase an age-old saying: If at first you don’t succeed, well, dust off the historic launch pad and try another liftoff.

    Not as catchy as the original, perhaps, but certainly fitting for SpaceX, which succeeded Sunday on its second launch attempt

    They seem to need a second attempt with the later stage of the flight as well!

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2017/02/spacex-cargo-craft-fails-to-dock-with-space-station-will-try-again/



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  • The issue was “99% likely to be fine,” Elon Musk, founder of the private space company, tweeted Saturday, “but that 1% chance isn’t worth rolling the dice. Better to wait a day.”

    Unlike the NASA management who went ahead with the final launch of Challenger.



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