Rocket launcher SpaceX has delayed the lift-off of an important satellite for Thaicom-8.
The launch was scheduled for late Thursday evening (May 26th) from the Cape Canaveral site. Space X said it needed to investigate a “tiny glitch” in an upper stage engine actuator on its Falcon-9 rocket. SpaceX boss Elon Musk said it was probably nothing to worry about and unlikely to be a flight risk but still worth investigating.
The component is part of a sophisticated engine management system, and for this particular flight needs to fire the upper stage Merlin 1D engine twice in order to lift the satellite to its geosynchronous transfer orbit and its eventual Equatorial position over the Asia-Pacific region.
A launch could take place on May 27th but weather conditions are not likely to be perfect. Bad weather could see the launch delayed a few days.
SpaceX’s floating barge is already position some 420 miles (680 kms) down range from Cape Canaveral ready to accept the returning 1st Stage of the Falcon-9 rocket for its landing attempt.