SpaceX just aborted a rocket launch for the second time in less than a week.
One of the company’s Falcon 9 rockets was scheduled to launch 15 Starlink internet satellites from Misty Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on Wednesday (July 19) at 1:25 a.m. EDT (0525 GMT; 10:25 a.m. ET). p.m. local California time on July 18).
But that wasn’t the case: The launch team called things off with just five seconds left on the countdown clock.
Related: SpaceX’s massive Starlink satellite is being launched in pictures
“There are a thousand ways a launch can go wrong and only one way it can go right,” said SpaceX’s Zack Lubin during the webcast of the planned launch. “Looking at that, we’re very careful on the ground. And if the team or the car sees anything that looks a little off, they’ll stop the countdown.”
SpaceX’s Atticus Vadera uttered very similar words on July 14, after the launch team canceled the planned takeoff of a Falcon 9 rocket topped with 54 Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. That rocket flew without incident the next day, missing its record-setting 16th mission.
The reason for Wednesday’s miscarriage is not clear. The mission team did not identify the problem during the webcast, which ended shortly after the launch was cancelled. (The weather was good enough for the launch, despite the heavy fog at Vandenberg.)
But Lubin said the Starlink rocket and satellites are in good health. And SpaceX aims to launch it again soon: the company he said via Twitter They are targeting Wednesday (July 19th) for the next take off. That should mean a 24-hour delay, with a Wednesday night launch in California time, which is early Thursday (July 20) EST/GMT.
Editor’s note: This story was updated at 2:15AM EST July 19th with a new target date of July 19th California time
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