Spaceflight Insider

Anvil clouds scrub launch of SpaceX Falcon 9 with SpX-6 Dragon


SpaceX was forced to scrub today's launch attempt just minutes before the scheduled 4:33 p.m. EDT (2033 GMT) liftoff time. Photo Credit: Michael Seeley / SpaceFlight Insider

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — The gods of weather were not in favor of SpaceX’s attempt to land the firm’s Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket on the “Just Read The Instructions” Autonomous Drone Spaceport ship (dubbed such by the company’s Founder and CEO Elon Musk). With a mere three minutes left on the clock before today’s scheduled 4:33 p.m. EDT (20:33 GMT) launch of the Dragon cargo vessel stuffed with more than 4,300 lbs of experiments and supplies for the International Space Station, the words “Hold, Hold, Hold!” could be heard, followed shortly by the announcement that today’s launch attempt had been scrubbed.

While the weather might not have cooperated, with large storm clouds looming over the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the Falcon 9 v1.1 itself was working as advertised, with no technical issues being noted before today’s launch attempt.

If everything goes according to plan, SpaceX and NASA will try again tomorrow at 4:10 p.m. EDT (20:10 GMT). After the first stage of the booster has helped dragon on its way to the ISS, it will attempt to carry out a controlled descent and landing off the Coast of Florida near Jacksonville.

SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40 SLC-40 Falcon 9 v1.1 Dragon SpX-6 CRS 6 photo credit Mike Howard SpaceFlight Insider

Photo Credit: Mike Howard SpaceFlight Insider


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Jason Rhian spent several years honing his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He has provided content for outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology,, The Mars Society and Universe Today.

Reader Comments

Does the Falcon have extraordinary weather restrictions, or would any other rocket have been delayed due to the “anvil-like” clouds. Is the wind restrictions for the Falcon any different from other rockets these days?

Brian, the Anvil clouds had Lightning associated with the cell so it would be on hold for at least 30 min to see if the clouds exited the 10 Nautical Mile limit of the launch pad. But this was a Go – No Go Launch attempt.

Michael, thanks for the lightning explanation. I can certainly understand the cause for concern. I also knew that the window was instantaneous, so any delay meant that they would have to scrub. My real q was the weather launch constraints of the Falcon vs other vehicles. I imagine the shuttle was pretty stringent, but what about other vehicles. Does the soyez have such tight constraints?

why is it in this day and age where you see amazing advancements in many different types of sciences but yet in rocket or high speed propulsion it seems we are still using the same basic technology from the Nazis in ww2?

@ROB physics, more specifically Newton’s third law of motion is the answer.

sorry for the delay. So what you are saying is that that we are limited to a certain acceleration because the opposite force would crush the rocket?

Still getting used to that new countdown clock…… I miss the old girl.

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