SpaceX canceled the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket that was to take off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 6 pm (Brasilia time) this Tuesday (14th). This time the culprit was not the weather, which is favorable, but a hardware failure that led to the need to “inspect the second stage and replace components if necessary”.
Standing down from tomorrow’s launch of ANASIS-II to take a closer look at the second stage, swap hardware if needed. Will announce new target launch date once confirmed on the Range
– SpaceX (@SpaceX) July 13, 2020
Today’s cargo would be Anasis-II, the first military communication satellite in South Korea. The little that is known about the equipment it is based on the Eurostar E3000 platform, from the French company EADS Astrium.
This would be SpaceX’s 12 launch this year. The Falcon 9 used in this mission is the same one that took astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to space this March in the historic Demo-2 mission.
After taking the satellite into space, the rocket would return to Earth and attempt to land on board the “Of Course I Still Love You” ferry in the Atlantic Ocean. SpaceX would also try to recover the two halves of the fairing that protects the satellite during launch, using boats Ms. Tree and Ms. Chief.
The company has not yet announced a new date for the launch of Anasis-II
Towards the stars
While continuing with the commercial launches of Falcon 9, SpaceX is focusing its engineering efforts on the development of Starship, a spacecraft the company plans to use for interplanetary travel, with the primary objective of colonizing Mars.
SpaceX has been following an aggressive testing routine, with several prototypes being built (and destroyed) in sequence. This is the result of a strategy known as the Minimum Viable Product (MVP), very common in software startups. The idea is to collect as much validated information as possible with the minimum of effort.
For example, given the need to prove the propellant’s reliable ignition, SpaceX builds only the minimum necessary for the test, often no more than a fuel tank, the propellant and an ignition control, something that can be done quickly and low cost.
In case of failure, a replacement “test item”, incorporating a correction, can be assembled and tested quickly. If successful, the learning is taken to a new stage of the product (in this case the spaceship), and so on.
The company is due to carry out its first low altitude flight test this week, using a prototype known as SN5. The expectation that he will reach an altitude of 150 meters.