Scrub-fest continues to plague the Space Coast of Florida

Space Coast, FL – Rocket Scrubs… what exactly does a scrub entail? In short… spaceflight is hard. Scrubs may occur from weather violations to mechanical issues of the space vehicle or even the launch pad. They are better than RUDs (Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly), in other words an explosion.

In just over 1 month spanning from the end of August to the start of October the Space Coast has experienced, eleven (11) scrubs/delays. Totaling between SpaceX and United Launch Alliance.


September 17, 2020 – Starlink L12 Scrubbed on Sept. 17 due to recovery weather | photo: Jon Van Horne

Starlink was also delayed from 9/27; Scrubbed on 9/28 by poor weather; aborted on 10/1 at T-minus 18 seconds from a ground sensor issue.

September 30, 2020 – NROL-44 aborted at T-minus 7 seconds due to a sensor reporting a fault | photo: Jon Van Horne

NROL-44 was also scrubbed on 08/27 by pneumatics issue; Aborted at T-minus 3 seconds on 08/29; Delayed from 09/26 by swing arm issue; Scrubbed on 09/28 due to weather; Scrubbed on 09/29 due to hydraulic leak on Mobile Service Tower retract system.

October 2, 2020 – Falcon 9 B1062 at moment of scrub from remote camera | photo: Jon Van Horne

GPSIIISV04 was scrubbed on 10/02 at T-minus 2 seconds, due to unexpected pressure rise in turbomachinery gas generator.

It’s been rough going for a rocket launch lately. However these safety systems are put into place for good reason. Just remember, when you are travelling to see a rocket launch, you are travelling to see an ATTEMPT of as rocket launch. This is rocket science and many variables come into play. Nothing is 100% until that rocket is in the air. Wishing the best of luck to all aerospace, satellite and space exploration agencies in safe launching.

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Jon Van Horne
Jon Van Horne

He began his career in media as a multimedia designer and developer in Montreal, Quebec. He developed a passion for media during his job in Photography and Video at a Montreal media content company. Other passions in media, photography/videography and soon going back to school in engineering.