Lightning strike scrubs June 1 launch attempt for CRS-11 mission
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — NASA and SpaceX attempted to launch the 11th Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-11) mission to the International Space Station today, June 1. However, Mother Nature dashed hopes the Falcon 9 would launch in the “instantaneous” one-second window.
Weather conditions were predicted by the 45th Weather Squadron as having a 30 percent chance of unfavorable conditions at the time of launch. The primary concerns were the anvil and cumulus clouds. However, 30 percent was all it took.
Standing down due to lightning. Backup launch opportunity on Saturday, June 3 at 5:07 p.m. EDT or 21:07 UTC.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) June 1, 2017
SpaceX called off the launch about 25 minutes before the planned liftoff due to a lightning strike near Kennedy Space Center, which violated the lightning flight rule, which requires no strikes within 10 miles of the pad fewer than 30 minutes before liftoff. The team will try again at 5:07 p.m. EDT (21:07 GMT) on Saturday, June 3, 2017.
Unfortunately, on Saturday, the weather is expected to worsen to a 40 percent chance of inclement weather. The primary concerns that day will be the anvil and cumulus clouds as well as fly through precipitation.
The 48-hour turnaround will allow the rocket to be lowered to the horizontal position for time-critical cargo inside the Dragon capsule to be replaced. When it does get off the ground, the CRS-11 mission will be the 100th launch from Launch Complex 39A. It will also be the sixth Falcon 9 to depart from the historic pad and SpaceX’s seventh launch of the year.
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, Space.com, The Mars Society and Universe Today.