SpaceX small satellite launch delayed once again for additional inspections

SpaceX was scheduled to launch a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California this weekend, but the launch had to be delayed in order to conduct extra inspections of the craft. SpaceX now hopes to go ahead with the launch on Monday instead. The company announced the delay in a tweet: “Standing down from tomorrow’s launch attempt of Spaceflight SSO-A: SmallSat Express to conduct additional inspections of the second stage. Working toward a backup launch opportunity on December 3.”

The Spaceflight SSO-A: SmallSat Express mission plans to enter low Earth orbit carrying 64 miniature satellites for a number of customers as part of a rideshare mission arranged by Spaceflight, a Seattle company which coordinates launches for small satellite users. The satellites come from a variety of places including the U.S. government, private companies, and research institutions. If the launch is successful, this would mark the most satellites ever deployed from a U.S. rocket. However, it is not the most satellites ever deployed from an international rocket launch — that honor goes to the Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) mission launched on February 15, 2017.

This is not the first time that the SpaceX launch has been delayed, due to either the craft requiring additional inspections or weather conditions like high winds at altitude which made launching impossible. The launch is aiming to use the same Falcon 9 rocket which they have used before, and this will mark the third mission to use the first stage booster. This is important as reusing rockets is one way that the company plans to make space travel more accessible for the non-astronaut masses. This goal won’t be achieved for some time, though CEO of SpaceX Elon Musk said that he thinks a re-use of the same rocket for consecutive trips within 24 hours could be possible by 2019.

To watch the launch when it hopefully goes ahead on Monday, you can head to SpaceX’s YouTube channel where they will be streaming the event live, beginning about 15 minutes before liftoff. The launch needs to happen during the primary launch window period which begins at 10:32 a.m. PST, or 18:32 UTC, and ends at 11:00 a.m. PST, or 19:00 UTC.

Emerging Tech

Rise of the Machines: Here’s how much robots and A.I. progressed in 2018

2018 has generated no shortage of news, and the worlds of A.I. and robotics are no exception. Here are our picks for the most exciting, game changing examples of both we saw this year.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Passenger spacecraft, Facebook data breach, and more

This episode of Digital Trends Live saw the fourth launch of passenger spacecraft SpaceShipTwo, and a Facebook data breach. We were also joined by the founder of Forter, Michael Reitblat, to discuss how to keep your data safe.

Want a fun, affordable instant camera? The Fujifilm Instax Mini 7S is just $49

Instant cameras have had a surprising resurgence of late, and no brand is better recognized in the instant photo space today than Fujifilm Instax. Walmart is currently offering the Instax Mini 7S for just $49.
Emerging Tech

We’re going to the Red Planet! All the past, present, and future missions to Mars

SpaceX isn't the only organization pining to visit the Red Planet. Here's a detailed list of all operational and planned missions to Mars, along with explanations of their objectives, spacecraft details, and mission proposals.
Emerging Tech

Prepare for liftoff: Here are all the important upcoming SpaceX rocket launches

From ISS resupply missions to a host of communication and scientific satellite launches, SpaceX has a busy year ahead. Here's a rundown of some of the company's most important missions slated for the next year.
Emerging Tech

Parker Solar Probe captures first image from within the atmosphere of the sun

NASA has shared the first image from inside the atmosphere of the sun taken by the Parker Solar Probe. The probe made the closest ever approach to a star, gathering data which scientists have been interpreting and released this week.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Say cheese: InSight lander posts a selfie from the surface of Mars

NASA's InSight mission to Mars has commemorated its arrival by posting a selfie. The selfie is a composite of 11 different images which were taken by one of its instruments, the Instrument Deployment Camera.
Emerging Tech

Researchers create a flying wireless platform using bumblebees

Researchers at the University of Washington have come up with a novel way to create a wireless platform: using bumblebees. As mechanical drones' batteries run out too fast, the team made use of a biology-based solution using living insects.
Emerging Tech

Bright ‘hyperactive’ comet should be visible in the sky this weekend

An unusual green comet, 46P/Wirtanen, will be visible in the night sky this month as it makes its closest approach to Earth in 20 years. It may even be possible to see the comet without a telescope.
Emerging Tech

Gorgeous images show storms and cloud formations in the atmosphere of Jupiter

NASA's Juno mission arrived at Jupiter in 2016 and has been collecting data since then. NASA has shared an update on the progress of the mission as it reaches its halfway point, releasing stunning images of the planet as seen from orbit.
Emerging Tech

Beautiful image of young planets sheds new light on planet formation

Researchers examining protoplanetary disks -- the belts of dust that eventually form planets -- have shared fascinating images of the planets from their survey, showing the various stages of planet formation.
Emerging Tech

Delivery robot goes up in flames while out and about in California

A small meal-delivery robot suddenly caught fire in Berkeley, California, on Friday. The blaze was quickly tackled and no one was hurt, but the incident is nevertheless a troubling one for the fledgling robot delivery industry.
Emerging Tech

High-tech dancing robot turns out to be a guy in a costume

A Russian TV audience was impressed recently by an adult-sized "robot" that could dance and talk. But when some people began pointing out that its actions were a bit odd, the truth emerged ... it was a fella in a robot suit.