It can be frustrating mounting a launch campaign. Technical issues, wind, rain, storms, temperature all can conspire against you. But it’s extra frustrating today. After a combination of wind and technical issues scrubbed Wednesday and Thursday attempts, today a boater entered the restricted area, forcing them to delay 40 minutes. And then they had a sequencer-initiated abort due to rising LOX temperatures following the unscheduled 40 minute hold, and a helium bubble. No word yet on when they’ll make a fourth attempt.
This is the first Falcon 9 to fly with extra-cold LOX, which increases the efficiency of its engines allowing it to get more delta vee out of the same mass of propellant, and when it does fly it will make the first attempt to land the first stage during a geosynchronous launch campaign. Geosynchronous launch expends too much propellant to allow a boostback burn, so this will attempt the landing with only minimal equipment — cold gas thrusters to orient for entry, grid fins for steering, and a landing burn. SpaceX is not expecting the rocket to survive, but will be happy if it does. 😉 They have one of their drone barges out on station out in the Atlantic for this.