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No safe payload from SpaceX Falcon Heavy as NASA’s Psyche mission announces delay

The launch of SpaceX’s first Falcon Heavy rocket for NASA was delayed by seven weeks after spacecraft engineers discovered a software flaw during initial processing.

NASA’s Psyche spacecraft, named after the strange metallic asteroid designed to study it, completed its journey from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, to launch facilities at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in late April. So far, the Falcon Heavy is the first and only payload to actually reach the Kennedy Space Center since mid-2019. At the time of its arrival, it was still somewhat unclear when the Falcon Heavy would finally end its three-year launch hiatus or what the payload would be. (s) This will be above the rocket for the event.

Three weeks later, the two are still unclear, but now for different reasons.

On May 23, Spaceflight Now reported that it had received a written statement from NASA confirming that the Psyche launch had been postponed from August 1, 2022, to no later than (NET) September 20, “after the ground crews of the software test discovered a problem with the spacecraft.” From the spacecraft to the payload processing facility at the Kennedy Space Center, teams have spent the past few weeks combing through Psyche making sure it made the trip without problems.At an unknown point, engineers had to run the spacecraft’s computers to run extensive diagnostic testing. Also, a later build of Psyche’s flight software was analyzed externally prior to final installation.

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Either way, something went wrong. At the moment, NASA just wants to say “there is a problem that prevents confirmation that the software that controls the spacecraft is working as designed.” While it appears to focus on software, such a vague statement doesn’t rule out the possibility of a hardware problem, which may explain why NASA and the spacecraft team quickly decided to delay Psyche’s launch by more than seven weeks.

For unknown reasons, each Falcon Heavy’s short-range payload slipped significantly from its original launch target. In recent weeks, the USSF-44—which was due to launch in June 2022 after years of delays—”Infinitely late.Delayed as of Q3 2020, USSF-52 now planned publication October 2022. Fisat-3, due to launch on the Falcon Heavy in 2020, is now .NET September 2022. Jupiter-3, a The Etisalat satellite breaks the record It was only confirmed as a Falcon Heavy launch contract a few weeks ago and was recently rolled back from 2021 and 2022 to early 2023.

Only the USSF-67, whose official launch target has not been updated in over a year, is He Said It is still on track for launch somewhere within the original launch window (H2 2022). If it was actually launched on a Falcon Heavy without delay in November 2022, it would be very far away. Meanwhile, Psyche’s September 20 delay means it may now conflict with Falcon Heavy’s ViaSat-3 mission, which must use the same launcher. Most likely, the ViaSat-3 will slide into Q4 already, but the situation shows what painful launches of nearly half a dozen chronically delayed payloads must be planned for SpaceX.

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Meanwhile, SpaceX needs to be saved and maintained as well nine Many Falcon Heavy Boosters as they have to wait a long time for the tasks assigned to them. SpaceX’s entire fleet of Falcon 9s – including the Falcon Heavy booster that operates temporarily like the Falcon 9 – contains 12 boosters, meaning that more than 40% of all Falcon boosters are currently heavyweight.

No safe payload from SpaceX Falcon Heavy as NASA’s Psyche mission announces delay