Sunday, February 26, 2006

Falcon 1 Gets New Tentative Launch Window

A virtual poster child for alt.space, the pioneering Falcon 1 has been delayed three times, for various technical and logistical issues. The latest attempt in February was postponed after a pre-launch static fire revealed some problems.

Falcon 1 on Omelek Launch Pad
Credit: Thom Rogers/SpaceX

In an e-mail Friday, SpaceX head man Elon Musk provided some updated launch info for Falcon 1, and a bit more explanation of the issues encountered on the last launch attempt. It appears a small leak was discovered in the 2nd stage fuel tank during the February 10 static test, forcing a postponement at that time.

It looks like March 20 to 25 will be the tentative flight window, pending a new shipment of liquid oxygen (LOX) from Hawaii. There should be another static fire on or about March 17 to get a better idea of where they stand, meantime a systems review with the big-wig clients (The Air Force, DARPA, and NASA) will also be conducted.

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