Space Commerce

SpaceX Launch Of SDA Tranche 0 Group Aborted At T-0:03 (Update)

By James Careless
James Careless
March 30, 2023
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SpaceX Launch Of SDA Tranche 0 Group Aborted At T-0:03 (Update)
SDA Tranche 0 Group Aborted At T-0:03

31 March Update: according to a tweet by Space Development Agency via @SemperCitiusSDA
“UPDATE: SpaceX will not make an attempt for SDA’s Tranche 0 launch today (3/31), as previously scheduled. They are working quickly to resolve issues discovered during yesterday’s launch attempt. We will provide add’l updates as soon as possible.”

The March 30, 2023 launch of the Space Development Agency’s (SDA) Tranche 0 group of Low Earth Orbit satellites was aborted at T-0:03 this morning.

No immediate reason was given for the abort of the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch. It was supposed to take place from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 7:29 am Pacific Daylight Time. Weather conditions were nominal and no problems were reported with the vehicle or payload immediately prior to the abort. Update: confirmed by SpaceX via Twitter.

Information provided during the SpaceX live stream said that the company will try the launch again on March 31, 2023; again at the same time. This marks the fourth launch delay for the payload of 10 SDA LEOs made by York Space Systems of Denver, Colorado. SDA is an agency under the United States Space Force.

These satellites are part of the SDA’s Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture program. When hundreds of these LEOs are eventually in orbit, they will support “beyond line-of-sight targeting for ground and maritime time-sensitive targets,” says the U.S. Department of Defense website. “The system will provide the ability to detect those targets, track them, calculate a fire control solution and then deliver that solution down to a weapons platform so that the target can be destroyed. The second capability is similar to the first, but for enemy missiles already in flight.”

James Careless

James Careless is an award-winning satellite communications writer. He has covered the industry since the 1990s.