Elon Musk will go in person to check SpaceX’s launch pads after a disappointing week where two rockets failed to launch.
On Thursday, SpaceX aborted a launch of its Starlink high-speed internet satellites following an unexpected “ground system sensor reading.” Then on Friday, a scheduled launch of its Falcon 9 rocket was aborted just seconds before launch. Elon Musk said on Twitter this was caused by an “unexpected pressure rise in the turbomachinery gas generator.”
The two aborted attempts were enough to draw Musk’s concern. “We will need to make a lot of improvements to have a chance of completing 48 launches next year!” he tweeted, following the aborted Falcon 9 launch.
The tech billionaire announced he would come to the Florida launch sites in person this week.
Gallery: See NASA Wallops Flight Facility launch NG-14 Antares rocket toward ISS (The Daily Times (Salisbury))
“We’re doing a broad review of launch site, propulsion, structures, avionics, range & regulatory constraints this weekend. I will also be at the Cape next week to review hardware in person,” Musk tweeted, referring to SpaceX’s Cape Canaveral site.
Ars Technica notes this visit is significant because recently Musk has been focusing most of his energy on SpaceX’s Boca Chica site in Texas where the company has been building its next rocket design, called Starship, which it is developing to be fully reusable.
Inspecting the Florida sites at Cape Canavarel (where the Falcon 9 takes off) and the Kennedy Space center (where Starlink satellites are sent up into orbit) means going back to more established designs.
Per Ars Technica, SpaceX has already performed 90 Falcon 9 launches and previous failures to launch have more often been down to things like adverse weather conditions.