SpaceX aborted the launch of a batch of Starlink internet satellites 18 seconds before blastoff due to an anomalous ground-sensor reading this morning (Oct. 1) at the launchpad in Florida.
The company has not yet announced when the next launch opportunity for the rocket will occur. SpaceX has a second Falcon 9 rocket on a neighboring launchpad that is preparing to launch a new GPS satellite on Friday morning (Oct. 2).
“The purpose of countdown is to help us catch potential issues prior to flight,” Siva Bharadvaj, a spacecraft operator at SpaceX, said after announcing the abort. “There’s a thousand ways that a launch can go wrong and only one way it can go right.”
Despite the ground-sensor reading, Bharadvaj said, the rocket seemed to be in fine condition. “Overall, the vehicle does appear to be in good health,” he said.
Whenever it does launch, this mission will deliver the 13th batch of about 60 Starlink satellites into orbit to join SpaceX’s growing megaconstellation that is designed to provide internet services, particularly in remote areas that are not currently well connected.
Before this morning’s abort, the launch had been delayed by two weeks by bad weather.