SpaceX was planning to launch a reusable Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at approximately 7:15 A.M. EDT on Sunday, but something didn’t quite go according to plan.
Image Credit: SpaceX
Although the weather conditions were favorable for a rocket launch at the time it was originally scheduled, it was called off because of a malfunction in one of the first stage rocket’s sensors. The news was broken by SpaceX in a Tweet early this morning:
Standing down today due to a sensor issue; backup launch opportunity tomorrow morning.— SpaceX (@SpaceX) April 30, 2017
The launch has now been delayed until Monday, after which the sensor issue should be fully addressed.
As for what the Falcon 9 is carrying, that much hasn’t been openly discussed. SpaceX hasn’t been authorized to share what the payload is, but we do know that the payload is being called “NROL-76” and is owned by the United States’ National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).
Many third-party observations believe it’s a spy satellite, but given the top-secret nature of these kinds of missions, it remains unconfirmed. Nothing is really known about what it’s going to be observing once it gets into space.
This is going to be a particularly important launch for SpaceX, as it’s the first time they’ve ever worked with the NRO. As history shows, NRO has been favorable of United Launch Alliance up until this point.
Will SpaceX will become the carrier of choice for many more NRO missions to come? Only time will tell at this point. Regardless, SpaceX has worked with other government agencies in the past.
SpaceX set up a live stream for the world to see the Sunday morning launch, but obviously since the launch didn’t occur, the live stream is in a state of limbo right now.
The live stream will resume on Monday at the same time, assuming the launch can be conducted as planned. The weather conditions are reportedly expected to be around 70% favorable for a launch on Monday.