SpaceX Delays AsiaSat-6 Launch for "One to Two Weeks"

SpaceX Delays AsiaSat-6 Launch for "One to Two Weeks"

SpaceX CEO and Chief Designer Elon Musk decided to postpone the launch of a commercial communications satellite, AsiaSat 6, hours before its expected launch to “triple-check” that the launch will not be affected by a problem that doomed a SpaceX test vehicle last week.

The AsiaSat 6 launch was scheduled for 12:50 am Eastern Daylight Time tomorrow morning, August 27.   Reporters on-site at Cape Canaveral, FL reported in late afternoon that the launch was postponed, but the company provided no official information via the website, the @SpaceX or @ElonMusk Twitter accounts, or in response to emails until late evening.  The text of the SpaceX statement that was finally released is as follows:

“The following statement on Aug. 26, will be posted to and should be attributed to Elon Musk, CEO & Chief Designer, SpaceX.

‘SpaceX has decided to postpone tomorrow’s flight of AsiaSat 6. We are not aware of any issue with Falcon 9, nor the interfaces with the Spacecraft, but have decided to review all potential failure modes and contingencies again. We expect to complete this process in one to two weeks.

‘The natural question is whether this is related to the test vehicle malfunction at our development facility in Texas last week. After a thorough review, we are confident that there is no direct link. Had the same blocked sensor port problem occurred with an operational Falcon 9, it would have been outvoted by several other sensors. That voting system was not present on the test vehicle.

‘What we do want to triple-check is whether even highly improbable corner case scenarios have the optimal fault detection and recovery logic. This has already been reviewed by SpaceX and multiple outside agencies, so the most likely outcome is no change. If any changes are made, we will provide as much detail as is allowed under U.S. law.'”

The failure last week was of an experimental SpaceX F9R Dev1 vehicle designed to demonstrate vertical take off and landing.  It was destroyed in-flight by an automated flight termination system after it detected an anomaly.

User Comments has the right (but not the obligation) to monitor the comments and to remove any materials it deems inappropriate.  We do not post comments that include links to other websites since we have no control over that content nor can we verify the security of such links.