The planned Monday afternoon launch of a Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center with a commercial communications satellite has been delayed, SpaceX said on Sunday, according to News 6 partner Florida Today. The SpaceX founder and CEO once again rocked the Twittersphere Sunday when he revealed what could be a first for his space company: a launch doubleheader.
The Falcon 9, which is supposed to carry the Bulgarian satellite, is a so-called proven rocket, meaning it has been in space before. SpaceX needs to replace a fairing valve on the payload shroud, an aerodynamic fairing will enclose the BulgariaSat 1 communications satellite during the first three-and-a-half minutes of launch.
On Friday, Bulsatcom said that SpaceX has completed the static fire test of Falcon 9 and targeted June 19 as a launch date.
A two-hour window was scheduled to open at 2:10 p.m. Monday.
The company tweeted that technical issues with a valve forced teams to delay the launch from pad 39A to no earlier than Friday with a second opportunity on Saturday. “As a side, this will also be our first launch with the Autonomous Flight Safety System, which is expected to help decrease launch costs and improve turnaround times between launches”. The Iridium satellite launch, meanwhile, is now scheduled to lift off from Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex 4 at 1:25 p.m. PDT (4:25 p.m. EDT/2025 GMT).
The launch will take place at Space Launch Complex-4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. “It is dual redundant, but not worth taking a chance”, Musk wrote.