Spaceflight Insider

Launch of SpaceX Falcon 9 with GovSat-1 delayed 24 hours

The launch of the GovSat-1 satellite atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 has been delayed due to an issue with the rocket's second stage. Photo Credit: Mike Howard / SpaceFlight Insider

The launch of the GovSat-1 satellite atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 has been delayed due to an issue with the rocket’s second stage. Photo Credit: Mike Howard / SpaceFlight Insider

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — With about an hour to go before the launch window opened at 4:25 p.m. EST (21:25 GMT) on Jan. 30, SpaceX scrubbed its attempt to send aloft a Falcon 9 rocket with a communications satellite named GovSat-1, due to a second-stage sensor issue. 

SpaceX has re-scheduled the launch attempt for tomorrow, Wednesday, January 31, with a two-hour and twenty-one minute launch window, beginning once again at 4:25 p.m. EST.  Weather is currently predicted to be 40 percent favorable at the launch window opening, improving to 60 percent by its close. 

If everything goes as it it currently planned, this will be the forty-eighth launch of a Falcon 9 rocket and the twenty-eighth for the v1.2 (Full Thrust) version of the booster. Though it will be using a flight-proven first stage previously used in the NROL-76 mission (May 2017), the first stage is not planned to land either on one of the NewSpace firm’s Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ships or at Canaveral’s Landing Zone 1.

GovSat-1 is targeted to be sent to geostationary orbit about 22,000 miles (35,406 kilometers) over the equator.  It will serve customers in Europe and the Mediterranean and is a multi-mission satellite providing X-band and Military Ka-band capabilities. GovSat-1 comes equipped with steerable spot beams and an advanced Global X-band beam and was built by Orbital ATK.

Once on orbit, it is planned to be positioned at 21.5 degrees East and, according to SpaceX: “…is designed to support communications within Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and enable operations over the Atlantic and Indian oceans, as well as over the Mediterranean and Baltic

With a launch mass of more than four metric tons, GovSat-1 is designed to have an operational life of some 15 years. 



Jim Siegel comes from a business and engineering background, as well as a journalistic one. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University, an MBA from the University of Michigan, and executive certificates from Northwestern University and Duke University. Jim got interested in journalism in 2002. As a resident of Celebration, FL, Disney’s planned community outside Orlando, he has written and performed photography extensively for the Celebration Independent and the Celebration News. He has also written for the Detroit News, the Indianapolis Star, and the Northwest Indiana Times (where he started his newspaper career at age 11 as a paperboy). Jim is well known around Celebration for his photography, and he recently published a book of his favorite Celebration scenes. Jim has covered the Kennedy Space Center since 2006. His experience has brought a unique perspective to his coverage of first, the space shuttle Program, and now the post-shuttle era, as US space exploration accelerates its dependence on commercial companies. He specializes in converting the often highly technical aspects of the space program into contexts that can be understood and appreciated by average Americans.

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