A Tale of Two Launches

While space shuttle Endeavour’s launch on Monday was scrubbed –again — due to weather, another launch took place later, which successfully launched the first commercial payload on board a rocket built by a commercial space company. SpaceX launched their Falcon 1 rocket from Omelek Island at Kwajalein Atoll to put a Malaysian RazakSAT satellite in a near equatorial orbit. SpaceX was able to overcome troubles with a helium system as well as bad weather, both of which caused delays. But eventually, the Falcon 1 launched flawlessly.

This was the second successful launch in five tries for the Falcon 1 rocket. Later this year. SpaceX hopes to launch its larger Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral

Space shuttle Endeavour stands on Launch Pad 39A after weather prevented Monday's scheduled liftoff. Image credit: NASA TV
Space shuttle Endeavour stands on Launch Pad 39A after weather prevented Monday's scheduled liftoff. Image credit: NASA TV

Meanwhile, for the second day in a row, thunderstorms near the Kennedy Space Center forced a scrub for Endeavour and her crew. It was the fifth delay for the STS-127 mission, going back to a hydrogen leak which delayed the launch in June.

NASA has decided to pass up a Tuesday launch opportunity, and try for a sixth launch attempt Wednesday July 15 at 6:03:10 p.m. EDT. The weather looks like it has a better chance of allowing a launch (60 percent chance of good weather as opposed to a 40 percent chance on Tuesday), plus the extra day will give .
engineers a chance to repair a rocket thruster rain cover came loose.

Delaying the shuttle launch may mean rescheduling when a Progress resupply ship can dock to the space station. If it launches as scheduled on July 24, it needs to dock by July 29.

3 Replies to “A Tale of Two Launches”

  1. Good for SpaceX, it must have been a crucial bottleneck?! First successful commercial launch, and gaining substantial trust by sequential successful launches. Liberating resources to continue with the Falcon-9 program. And I now see that the next Falcon-1 will be a “1e” upgrade with more than twice the LEO load. (Closing a commercial gap created by abstaining from developing Falcon-5, I imagine.)

    Wonder if they will create their own “Falcon launch” champagne series? [envy] I _so_ want to be on a project big enough to allow for that. [/envy]

  2. I saw the launch yesterday, We were watching the rocket in the launch pad and when the webcast refreshed we were looking to tiny clouds and the horizon line far, far away 🙂

  3. If there was a human cargo on board, would they not have to slow down the rocked?

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