SpaceX and ORBCOMM Aiming for June 15 Launch With Next Generation OG2 Satellites

The next SpaceX Falcon-9 mission for customer ORBCOMM is now expected to fly June 15. Image Credit: SpaceX / ORBCOMM

The next SpaceX Falcon-9 mission for customer ORBCOMM is now expected to fly June 15. Image Credit: SpaceX / ORBCOMM

Speculation has been plentiful this past week regarding a new target launch date for the next SpaceX Falcon 9 mission, one which will (hopefully) deliver the first six of 17 next-generation commercial telecommunications satellites (identified as OG2) to an elliptical 750 x 615 km low-Earth orbit for customer ORBCOMM. Today, ORBCOMM announced the new target launch date and time, which is now Sunday, June 15, at 8:00 p.m. EDT, with a backup launch opportunity open for June 16.

From ORBCOMM today:

An OG2 satellite preparing for testing ahead of launch. Photo Credit: Sierra Nevada Corp.

An OG2 satellite preparing for testing ahead of launch. Photo Credit: Sierra Nevada Corp.

“During final integration on one of the OG2 spacecraft, we encountered a minor issue resulting in a few extra days of delay to perform precautionary steps to ensure there are no operational concerns with the satellite. We intend to re-encapsulate the satellites this evening, with static test firing of the rocket scheduled for Thursday or Friday this week.”

The launch, which will take place from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40 in Florida, has been delayed several times over the last couple months, for various reasons.

An ORBCOMM prototype satellite which launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 as a secondary payload on Oct. 7, 2012, failed to reach its intended orbit due to a a pre-imposed safety check required by NASA when the rocket’s #1 Merlin engine suddenly lost pressure in flight. An engine shutdown command occurred as a result, preventing the rocket from performing a second burn to properly deliver the satellite. As a result the satellite eventually fell back to Earth.

Neither SpaceX nor the 45th Space Wing have confirmed a June 15 launch date, yet.

AmericaSpace will be on-site to provide full coverage of the launch when it occurs. Check back for updates throughout the week.

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Missions » ORBCOMM » SpaceX OG2 M1 »

6 comments to SpaceX and ORBCOMM Aiming for June 15 Launch With Next Generation OG2 Satellites

  • Mark

    If you love space you should watch this Guide of NGC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAEQOnAu23c

  • Tracy the Troll

    Does anyone know what caused the first delay that was observed during the static fire test back in early May???

    • James B Franks

      Helium leak inside the first stage, how big or where is anyone’s guess.

  • Tracy the Troll

    I have serious doubts that SpaceX will be able to deliver on their primary concept of reusable rockets that will see a flood of demand in the 100s or 1000s of cores per year very soon If they try to pursue any more government space launch business. The red tape and corruption will bring their entire production operation to a standstill…And never become the PAN AM of space that it needs to be to save the human race….

    • ken anthony

      SpaceX hasn’t been building a company with so many employees for no purpose.

      Dragon is already reusable. NASA demands new but future customers may be happen with the lower price of used. They are very close to first stage reusability. FH will have two cores that are easier to reuse than the F9.

      Even without reusability they have no competition at their current price points. More launch experience will just expand their customer base.

      The only thing holding them back is launch facilities which they are working on. When those go live… the real space age will begin.

      Many customers are waiting for lower costs which will happen with higher flight rates.

      • Joe

        “SpaceX hasn’t been building a company with so many employees for no purpose.”

        Thank you ”Captain Obvious”. The question has always been what purpose.

        “Dragon is already reusable.”

        Really? What parts of Dragon have been successfully reused so far?

        “The only thing holding them back is launch facilities which they are working on. When those go live… the real space age will begin.”

        And the whole reusability and production rate thing.