Zuma Launch Delayed to SUnday

Update: Launch now delayed 24 hours by weather constraints. Sunday, Jan. 7 at 8 p.m.

SpaceX has delayed the launch of the Zuma payload until Saturday, Jan. 6. The two hour launch window opens at 8 p.m. EST.

  • Ignacio Rockwill

    Zuma, you’re killing us. Hurry up already. Is the Zuma launch a gating item (official or otherwise) to FH static fire and launch? My guess is no, but wondering if anybody’s heard anything.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Well …. so much for my musing that this was a sort of responsive space launch when it was announced back in Oct or so of last year. …. Oh well…..

  • Kirk

    Not every test is passed.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Hey, after 2017 …. If the only gripe against the Falcon 9 is that it’s not yet a responsive space launcher …. well, things could be far worse. However it seems the culprit is SX’s re-engineering of the vehicle as it operates. There’s a price to pay for that.

  • Terry Stetler

    The latest round of delays has been due to high level winds from the big winter storm. Now Sunday

    https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/949074398543261696

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    Looks like SpaceX read the Rogers Commission Report…

  • Michael Vaicaitis

    The low price of a few days on the calendar is easy to bear. Block 5 should be an end to the modding – the final F9 iteration before BFR.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Oh sure. But the mods were causing years of delays a few years ago. Rough days. Will Space X ever stop changing ?… I’m going to bet no. 🙂 All we need is a delay in BFR and Space X will lengthen the tanks and up the thrust just a bit more in order to get more margin to play with recovering the 2nd stage. The market will go along and pay for it.

  • Michael Vaicaitis

    Of course the market will go along and pay for it, because they will be paying even less. Customers, aka “the market”, are hardly going to complain about price reductions. And not only do lower launch costs make manageable delays more palatable, those customers know that by “supporting” SpaceX they will get even lower launch prices in the future.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Well consider the GEO comm-sats run about on the order of a quarter of a billion dollars. And they receive on the order of $100 million dollars a year in fees. Space X is offering savings on the order of $40 to $60 million a launch over the Russians. So a loss of a satellite means a lot in lost revenue for the time to replace the satellite. So far the savings in launch costs don’t really mean much in the face of a lost bird. Space X was lucky they did not lose a GEO bird in the period when they were losing payloads. Let’s hope those days are over. Changing the design tickles the chance that one day the odds come in against you. Look at what happened to the firm who was willing to have the payload on the Falcon for the pre-launch engine burn. They went out of business.

  • Michael Vaicaitis

    Despite your confident calculations of potential loss of revenue, those well informed hard-headed experienced fleet operators keep lining up for more SpaceX launches. Is it possible that they know more about their own businesses than you claim to?. Perhaps they lose little to no earnings, and instead in most cases simply defer those earnings to a later start date – I do not know – you do not know. The only fact of the matter we really have is their continued interest in SpaceX launch services. A fact which strongly indicates that the perceived risk perceived reward balance points to delays being generally quite manageable.

    Spacecom were already precarious enough to want to sell to a Chinese group (they are still technically in business and still looking for a buyer). But complete loss of a satellite is hardly the same as a launch delay. Are you really arguing that vehicle tweaks will always unavoidably result in regular loss of payloads?. Surely their two failures so far will have taught them to employ even greater caution – the Zuma payload fairing issue being a case in point.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Dude, you’re reading way too much into what I wrote. Since most of what you wrote was a reply to nothing I wrote, I’m not going to address it. However changing a working launch vehicle introduces risk of things going wrong. That’s all I’m saying.

  • windbourne

    actually, I do not think that SX has really been that risky except early on.

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    I agree. I’ve said it before, the move by BO to NS->NG in a single hop is much more risky.

  • Kirk

    Here is an NSF forum post countering the idea that it was a responsiveness test, ending with the summary:

    So, in short…
    – SpaceX knew about this more than two years ago
    – SpaceX knew it would be B1046 two years ago, which accounting for three
    assigned reflights last year before Zuma Nov launch window makes it
    B1043
    – SpaceX knew in April 2017 that NG wanted a launch in November 2017
    – SpaceX filed for a launch communications license with the FCC more than 30 days before launch target

    https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43976.msg1768233#msg1768233

  • Michael Halpern

    technically risky, but financially basically their only option, SX dominates LEO and limited GEO (8t), if they want a viable place in the market they need to target a launch sector that SX isn’t dominating.