Friday, March 24

Liftoff, total loss

The Falcon 1 spacecraft made it off the launch pad, after numerous delays, only to be lost a few seconds later. No details yet on what went wrong, but apparently the two-stage rocket, carrying a satellite built by Air Force cadets, never made it to orbit. I'll report back when I know more.

just a boat in the way

Falcon 1 looks like it will be ok to launch after all. It's still 26 minutes or so into the unplanned hold, but it turns out the cause was just the recovery ship, part of the launch support team, being in the wrong area for launch. It is being moved, and launch should be back on track.
This will be the first of what SpaceX plans to be a whole family of low-cost, mostly reusable launch vehicles. All will use the same rocket engine as this Falcon 1, in different configurations (either 5 or 9 of them), so this test is an important validation of the whole concept.

Falcon 1: Go, but holding

Falcon 1, the first-generation new spacecraft from Elon Musk's Space Exploration company, (Space-X), is set for launch this afternoon from Kwajelein Atoll in the Pacific. The launch was set for 1 p.m. PST, but is currently on hold, reset, to T minus 1 hour and 15 minutes. Not sure what the glitch is, but you can watch the webcast live at SpaceX.