A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the GPS III SV01 navigation satellite for the US military is approaching its launch site prior to December 1
Photo credits: SpaceX
WASHINGTON – SpaceX wiped the launch of the Air Force's first ever GPS 3 satellite on Falcon 9 on Tuesday. Another attempt is scheduled for Wednesday at the Air Force Station of Cape Canaveral in Florida.
The commander of the 45th Space Wing, who oversees the take-offs at Cape Canaveral, said it was right to cancel the GPS-3 mission. "We've seen some sensors today that have alarmed us a bit, so we decided to hold the launch at this point," says Air Force Brig. General Douglas Schiess told SpaceNews during a teleconference on Tuesday. The call also included Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Lt. Gen. John Thompson, commander of the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. Wilson was in Cape Canaveral to watch the start with Vice President Mike Pence.
The 45th Space Wing is responsible for public safety at every takeoff from Cape Canaveral or the Kennedy Space Center.
"The team always ensures that safety and security are our top priority," said Schiess. "We did that today."
The weather is not an issue at this point, he said. "We are working on some problems," said Schiess. "We are now working with the people of General Thompson and SpaceX to see if we can start tomorrow," he said. "When we're done and the rocket is good, we look forward to a great start to the first EELV launch for SpaceX." The Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle is the Air Force program that procures launch services.
When asked if a launch on Wednesday seems likely, Schiess expressed some doubts. "I can not say that we are confident now, we are keeping the schedule of tomorrow, but we are not confident at this time."
Wilson agreed to the Wing Commander's decision to hold back.  "We were hoping to launch the GPS satellite this morning," she said. I hope I will come back and see a start, I also give great credit to the people doing the operation, that safety and mission security are paramount, and they made the right decision this morning . "
This is SpaceX's first mission to the Air Force Air Force EELV program: The contract was awarded to SpaceX in April 2016. SpaceX has another four GPS 3 launches, all of which will launch on Falcon 9.
Thompson said that the Air is independent of when the launch takes place It is encouraged that SpaceX is now fighting for military launches: "For the first time in the history of the EELV program, we have competition again," he said. "This opportunity for SpaceX to participate in this mission and win this mission – and then give it up." We are the first GPS-3 satellite to be of great importance not only to SpaceX and the satellite operator Lockheed Martin, but also to the United States is, "added Thompson." Our industrial launch base, especially for large rockets. is very robust at the moment.
This story was provided by SpaceNews, which covers all aspects of the space industry.