Thu, Mar 11, 2010
Clock Counted To T-2 Before Aborting For Spin Start
SpaceX attempted its first Static
Fire for the Falcon 9 launch vehicle Tuesday. The launch sequence
was counted down to T-2 seconds, but aborted on spin start. SpaceX
said given that this was the first abort event on this pad, the
decision was made to scrub for the day to get a good look at the
rocket before trying again. They say everything looks "great" at
Pad preps were completed on time and with good execution. The
integrated countdown with the range included holdfire checks, S-
band telemetry, C-band, and FTS simulated checks. Also completed
were helium, liquid oxygen (LOX), and fuel loads to within tenths
of a percent of T-zero conditions. Tanks pressed nominally and all
Terminal count, flight software, and ground software abort checks
were passed right down to T-2 seconds. We encountered a problem
with the spin start system and aborted nominally.
As part of the abort, the pre-valves are closed to isolate the
engines from the propellant tank and purge the residual
propellants. Brief flames were seen as LOX and kerosene burned off
on the pad. The engines did not ignite and there was no engine
The vehicle was detanked and it and the launch pad were safed.
Preliminary review shows all other systems required to reach full
ignition were within specification. All other pad systems worked
nominally. Inspections were complete overnight, and data review and
procedure updates will follow. Commodities will be replenished
including TEA TEB load, LOX and helium deliveries.
SpaceX says it looks to do the next static fire attempt in three
or four days.
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