The SpaceX SES-9 launch failed to complete on Oscar Sunday. The likely trigger was the hold phase cased by a boat violating the safety zone.
On Sunday all looked good for the third attempt of the SpaceX SES-9 mission. But than things started to go awry. The launch countdown had to be put on hold because a boat has entered the safety zone, which is an area that stretches form the shoreline of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station into the Atlantic Ocean.
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SpaceX had to wait until a helicopter of the 45th Space Wing Air Force unit had reached the boat that violated the safety zone. The boat has been identified as a tugboat pulling a barge.
Col. Jeffrey Macrander, commander of the 920th Rescue Wing told Florida Today: "It took about 30 to 35 minutes for the helicopter to reach the tugboat and barge after getting airborne within 10 minutes of being advised of the violation. The helicopter crew got the tugboat and barge cleared, but not before the launch had to be postponed."
Violations of this kind are very rare as mariners in the area are aware for the restricted area during rocket launch at Cape Canaveral.
The tugboat is a commercial ship and is required to be equipped with automatic identification system and radio. It is not confirmed if that tugboat had the equipment. If it failed to comply with regulations it could face fines.
If SpaceX can make legal claims against the tugboat owner is unlikely. The hold of the countdown has likely caused that the oxygen got too hot and the ignition process with killed just seconds before take off.
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SpaceX will try again, today, Tuesday March 1st to launch the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the SES-9 Satellite payload. The SpaceX SES-9 launch is scheduled for 6:35pm ET.