Cruise Ship Enters Hazard Area Causing SpaceX To Postpone Mission Minutes Before Launch

Cruise Ship Enters Hazard Area Causing SpaceX To Postpone Mission Minutes Before Launch

SpaceX attempted to launch the Italian Space Agency’s COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation FM2 satellite from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station multiple times but launch has been delayed due to unfavorable weather conditions along Florida’s Coast. On January 30, the launch was postponed a fourth time due to a cruise ship that entered the hazard area minutes before launch. A Falcon 9 rocket was scheduled to lift off at 6:11 p.m. EST and everything was ‘GO’ for launch until a cruise ship wandered into an exclusion zone in the ocean under the rocket’s flight path. –“Standing down from today's launch of COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation FM2 (CSG-2) due to ship in the hazard area,” SpaceX announced. “The vehicle is still healthy. The payload is healthy. Everything was looking good for an on-time liftoff today, aside from the range,” SpaceX production manager Jessie Anderson said during a broadcast of Sunday’s launch attempt.

The U.S. Coast Guard has not released any information on what cruise liner sailed into the keep-out-zone. According to Port Canaveral's schedule, a Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas cruise ship and MSC Cruises’ Meraviglia ship were scheduled to depart a couple of hours before SpaceX attempted to launch the CSG-2 satellite on Sunday evening. Maybe one of the ship’s departure was delayed causing it to sail into the exclusion zone at an inconvenient time. The Falcon 9 rocket was fueled and ready to propel the satellite to orbit until mission control called off the flight. SpaceX now plans to launch the Italian CSG-2 satellite on Monday, January 31st at 6:11 p.m. EST. The U.S. Space Force 45th Weather Squadron forecast a 90% chance of favorable weather for the fifth launch attempt from Space Launch Complex-40. This delay also caused SpaceX to postpone the upcoming Starlink mission that was supposed to happen a day after the Italian satellite was deployed. A Falcon 9 rocket with 49 Starlink satellites is awaiting liftoff at the neighboring Launch Complex-39A at NASA Kennedy Space Center.


The Falcon 9 rocket that will launch the Italian CSG-2 satellite is identified as booster B1052-3. The first-stage booster was previously one of the cores that made-up a Falcon Heavy rocket. SpaceX connects three modified Falcon 9 first-stage boosters together to create a heavy-lift launch vehicle that generates over 5 million pounds of thrust with its 27 Merlin 1D engines. It is more thrust than any other launch vehicle currently in operation. The booster core that will launch CSG-2 was part of the Falcon Heavy rocket that launched Saudi Arabia’s Arabsat-6A communications satellite and the U.S. military Space Test Program 2 (STP-2) mission in 2019. “After stage separation, Falcon 9 will return to Earth and land on Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. One half of the fairings supporting this mission previously supported Transporter-1, Transporter-2, and one Starlink mission, and the other half previously supported SAOCOM 1B, Transporter-2, and one Starlink mission,” SpaceX shared. The company will broadcast the mission Live around 15-minutes before liftoff in the video linked below. [Date is subject to change.]




Featured Image Source: SpaceX 

About the Author

Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo

Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo

Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.

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