Elon Musk: Anonymous send message to CEO of SpaceX
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SpaceX was due to launch 88 satellites into orbit on June 29 as part of the Transporter-2 mission. Carried atop of a single Falcon 9 rocket, the payload was cleared for launch from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. But the flight was unceremoniously scrubbed in the final seconds of the countdown with SpaceX chief Elon Musk later confirming an aircraft had gotten in the way.
With just 13 seconds to liftoff, a SpaceX flight controller was heard on the official launch live stream saying: “Hold, hold, hold.”
A short while later it was revealed the launch was halted due to a “fouled range” – a sign of something appearing in the protected airspace around the launch area.
Mr Musk then took to Twitter to vent his frustration, revealing the cause of the delay.
The South African billionaire also used the opportunity to take a thinly-veiled shot at the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The SpaceX chief and FAA have been at loggerheads in the past over what Mr Musk believes are broken and outdated regulations.
The FAA, on the other hand, has raised issues regarding SpaceX violating the terms of its FAA launch license for the prototype Starship spacecraft.
Mr Musk tweeted on Tuesday: “Unfortunately, launch is called off for today, as an aircraft entered the ‘keep out zone’, which is unreasonably gigantic.
“There is simply no way that humanity can become a spacefaring civilisation without major regulatory reform. The current regulatory system is broken.”
SpaceX fail to land booster rocket during Starlink mission
The sentiments echoed an outburst from the SpaceX chief that followed the FAA’s decision to scrub a Starship launch in late January.
In a scathing tirade on Twitter, Mr Musk accused the FAA of halting humanity’s progress towards setting foot on Mars.
He said: “Unlike its aircraft division, which is fine, the FAA space division has a fundamentally broken regulatory structure.
“Their rules are meant for a handful of expendable launches per year from a few government facilities.
“Under those rules, humanity will never get to Mars.”
The good news is, however, the Transporter-2 launch has been rescheduled for Wednesday evening.
SpaceX’s launch window opens at 7.56pm BST (2.56pm EDT) and will last 58 minutes.
This will be SpaceX’s second-ever to a polar orbit from the Florida coast.
SpaceX will launch 85 commercial and government payloads, including three satellites that will bolster SpaceX’s growing Starlink constellation.
The launch also marks SpaceX’s second SmallSat Rideshare Program launch – an opportunity for many small payloads by various companies and groups to be launched at once.
SpaceX said: “While there are fewer spacecraft on board compared to Transporter-1, this mission is actually launching more mass to orbit for SpaceX’s customers.”
One half of the Falcon 9 fairing used on the launch previously served on the Transporter-1 mission and a Starlink launch.
And the second half has been to space on two occasions as well, including a Starlink launch.
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