For the past week or so, Advanced-Television has been cataloguing the numerous delays affecting the rocket launch sector, and the growing number of satellite operators facing serious delays to their launch – and business – plans.
Now SpaceX, backed by billionaire Elon Musk, having been forced to delay the planned launch of six Orbcomm satellite a total of three times over the past 10 days, now says that it is suspending launches for a month. The first delay was down to a pressure drop on its Falcon-9 rocket. The secondwas down to Florida’s temperamental weather. The third (on June 23rd) was down to a need to check a possible – although un-specified – problem.
“SpaceX will stand down Tuesday while our engineering teams evaluate further, which will also allow the Range [Cape Canaveral] to move forward with previously scheduled maintenance,” SpaceX and Orbcomm representatives said in the mission update. “We are currently targeting the first week of July and will work with the Range to confirm the next available launch opportunities.”
This delay, sounding like at least two weeks, further exacerbates the waiting time to those clients of SpaceX who are keen to see their satellites put to work. AsiaSat has two satellites waiting for launch (Asiasat 8 and 6), while Israel’s Amos-7 is also waiting to go.