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Friday February 23, 2024

Elon Musk's SpaceX aborts mission less than a minute before launch

Topped with 21 satellites, Falcon 9 rocket was scheduled to lift off from California on Friday at 9:19am

By Web Desk
May 19, 2023
This screen grab made from a handout video released by SpaceX shows the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on January 6, 2020. — AFP
This screen grab made from a handout video released by SpaceX shows the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on January 6, 2020. — AFP

Tech billionaire Elon Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX which was scheduled to lift off satellites for OneWeb and Iridium early Friday with the help of its Falcon 9 rocket aborted its mission less than a minute before its launch.

SpaceX aborted the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying satellites for OneWeb and Iridium early Friday just under a minute before liftoff. The abort occurred 55 seconds before the planned launch.

In an update on Twitter, SpaceX wrote: "Standing down from today's launch of the Iridium OneWeb mission."

The Falcon 9 rocket was topped with 21 satellites and was scheduled to lift off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on Friday at 9:19 am EDT 6:19am local California time.

Were everything gone as planned it would have returned to Earth about nine minutes after liftoff.

"JoeySat contains several new technologies, including a digitally regenerative payload and demonstration of multi-beam electronically steered phased array antennas," OneWeb wrote in a mission description.

SpaceX had already launched three batches of OneWeb internet satellites, sending 40 spacecraft skyward on each previous mission.

This launch would have been the second in rapid succession for SpaceX. The company had already launched earlier Friday launched 22 of its own Starlink "V2 mini" internet satellites from Florida's Space Coast at 2:19am EDT.

The Falcon 9 returned to Earth as per the plan about 8.5 minutes after liftoff from its base. It touched down on the SpaceX drone ship A Shortfall of Gravitas, stationed in the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast.