September was disappointing for space fans, and now looks set to continue into October, as a series of lengthy delays continue and The SpaceX Starlink mission was canceled on Monday,media CNET reported. It marked the fifth delay in the launch in the past three weeks, just three days after SpaceX had to shelve friday’s launch of a GPS satellite for the U.S. space force. The mission has also been postponed four times in the past week.
Delays don’t just affect SpaceX. The United Launch Alliance Delta IV heavy rocket, which was scheduled to put a new U.S. spy satellite into orbit on August 27, has been delayed no less than six times, most recently on September 30.
There are many reasons for the delay. Several times related to severe weather conditions near Cape Canaveral, Florida, but problems with transmitter equipment, sensors and machinery caused delays in launch.
Each delay is a schedule breaker, eager to see the launch, not only for the companies and crews directly involved in the mission, but also for a large group of astronomy enthusiasts, journalists and other observers. “My hobby of watching a rocket launch is becoming a hobby of watching a rocket being placed on a launch pad, and people say, ‘Stop the suspension,'” said one astronomy enthusiast.
More and more people are venting their displeasure on Twitter and even created a new hashtag. #Scrubtober (previously known as scrubtember).
The topic unsurprisingly caught the attention of SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who said Friday that he plans to visit Cape Canaveral in person to review hardware and “regulatory restrictions.”