SpaceX Scraps Resupply Flight to Space Station this Morning

Associated Press – SpaceX has called off its flight to the International Space Station. The unmanned Falcon rocket was supposed to blast off before sunrise Tuesday. But the countdown was halted with just one minute remaining. The soonest SpaceX can try again is Friday. No reason was immediately given for the launch abort.
One of the rumors for the flight abort is that there was a problem setting up the difficult recovery operation of the depleted Falcon rocket, which is supposed to touchdown on a platform in the Atlantic Ocean. This kind of recovery, which has never been done before, is complicated and expensive, though Elon Musk (SpaceX founder) insists it is key to saving money on these rocket flights. This is contested by some analysts in the industry, including this one (Grunt), who point to previous lessons learned by NASA in recovering spent boosters. Though not widely advertised, recovery efforts, even simple ones, can cost dozens of times the saved value in hardware, making them little more than fanciful exercises in bravado. Ironically, NASA fell into just that kind of ego trap, wasting precious resources on reality-denying schemes while simple, Apollo-like, missions could have advanced the state of space flight considerably. Commercial space ventures, like SpaceX and Virgin Galactic, were founded with the intent to avoid those kinds of traps. So far, that’s not really happened, though Orbital Sciences has come close, even as they struggle with other challenges, such as engine technology. -Grunt


About GruntOfMonteCristo

Fearless and Devout Catholic Christian First, Loving Husband and Father Second, Pissed-Off Patriot Third, Rocket Engineer Dork Last.
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