Featured Image Source: NASA
SpaceX was scheduled to deploy ANASIS-II, a South Korean military communications satellite tomorrow, Tuesday, July 14. Today, the aerospace company announced the mission has been delayed – “Standing down from tomorrow’s launch of ANASIS-II to take a closer look at the second stage, [and] swap hardware if needed,” SpaceX stated via Twitter. “Will announce new target launch date once confirmed on the Range.” The previously-flown Falcon 9 rocket booster, production number B1058, is awaiting at Launch Pad 40 at the Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The booster first-stage is special because B1058 conducted SpaceX’s debut crewed flight, which propelled the Crew Dragon spacecraft into orbit with two NASA astronauts aboard on May 30th. Soon after deploying Crew Dragon, B1058 landed on the Of Course I Still Love You autonomous drone ship at the Atlantic Ocean. The aerospace company is currently the only in the world that has achieved landing orbital-class rockets over 50 times. Booster B1058 has been refurbished and will now conduct its second flight, the ANASIS-II mission for South Korea. The second-stage of Falcon 9, is the part of the rocket which propels the satellite once in space. Engineers delayed the launch to check the craft’s second-stage and "swap hardware if needed" before attempting to deploy the ANASIS-II satellite.
Standing down from tomorrow’s launch of ANASIS-II to take a closer look at the second stage, swap hardware if needed. Will announce new target launch date once confirmed on the Range— SpaceX (@SpaceX) July 13, 2020
It is the second SpaceX mission to be postponed this month. The other mission that has been postponed several times is the launch of a four-times-flown Falcon 9 rocket that was scheduled to deploy 57 Starlink satellites and a pair of BlackSky satellites on June 26, SpaceX delayed the launch because engineers needed time for “additional time for pre-launch checkouts.” The launch was rescheduled for July 8, then postponed due to unfavorable weather conditions. Then, the launch was delayed again on July 11 for check-ups -"Standing down from today's launch of the tenth Starlink mission to allow more time for checkouts; team is working to identify the next launch opportunity," the company announced.
Standing down from today's launch of the tenth Starlink mission to allow more time for checkouts; team is working to identify the next launch opportunity. Will announce a new target date once confirmed with the Range— SpaceX (@SpaceX) July 11, 2020
It has not yet been revealed what is the exact issue that engineers are encountering; It is always best to triple check all of Falcon 9’s systems before conducting a mission. Especially when the mission will carry an important payload for a foreign country. Regarding the launch delays, the founder and Chief Engineer at SpaceX Elon Musk said today – “We’re being extra paranoid. Maximizing probability of successful launch is paramount.”
We’re being extra paranoid. Maximizing probability of successful launch is paramount.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 13, 2020
SpaceX wants to ensure the missions are successful. The Republic of South Korea’s ANASIS-II satellite, will be the first military communications satellite deployed by the country. ANASIS-II satellite was manufactured by Airbus Defense and Space, it will be operated by South Korea's Agency for Defense Development. Falcon 9 is expected to deploy the ANASIS-II satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit.
The United States' Space Force's 45th Weather Squadron will assess the weather in the days ahead to set a new date for both, the Starlink/BlackSky deployment and South Korea ANASIS-II mission. SpaceX aims to recover both rocket boosters in order to reuse again. So, weather conditions must be favorable along Florida's Coast, where the rocket booster's are expected to land on an autonomous drone ship at sea.
You can watch a Live views of Falcon 9 rockets awaiting launch day at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in the video below.