It’s T-minus 3 minutes and you can watch the private launch attempt via a live webcast. News of the launch attempt came with little notice:
After a few days of keeping the media in the dark, SpaceX have finally announced they will make their first launch attempt of what will be the third flight of their Falcon I launch vehicle – carrying three satellites.
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, has issued a statement:
It was obviously a big disappointment not to reach orbit on this flight [Falcon 1, Flight 3]. On the plus side, the flight of our first stage, with the new Merlin 1C engine that will be used in Falcon 9, was picture perfect. Unfortunately, a problem occurred with stage separation, causing the stages to be held together. This is under investigation and I will send out a note as soon as we understand exactly what happened.
The most important message I’d like to send right now is that SpaceX will not skip a beat in execution going forward. We have flight four of Falcon 1 almost ready for flight and flight five right behind that. I have also given the go ahead to begin fabrication of flight six. Falcon 9 development will also continue unabated, taking into account the lessons learned with Falcon 1. We have made great progress this past week with the successful nine engine firing.
As a precautionary measure to guard against the possibility of flight 3 not reaching orbit, SpaceX recently accepted a significant investment. Combined with our existing cash reserves, that ensures we will have more than sufficient funding on hand to continue launching Falcon 1 and develop Falcon 9 and Dragon. There should be absolutely zero question that SpaceX will prevail in reaching orbit and demonstrating reliable space transport. For my part, I will never give up and I mean never.
Thanks for your hard work and now on to flight four.
NASA Watch has the launch video.
Bad news. The on-board video looked absolutely amazing but dropped early in the flight. The SpaceX team broke in a few seconds later and revealed that there had been an anomaly. No details yet but it doesn’t look good.