Thursday, January 5, 2012

SpaceX Drops Orbcomm Payloads to Satisfy NASA

Aviation Week reports that SpaceX will no longer launch two Orbcomm payloads during its February 7 launch, to appease NASA.

SpaceX and Orbcomm announced their initial intent to include the deployment of two second-generation Orbcomm satellites on March 14. Following the announcement, NASA’s space station program raised concerns that the dual Orbcomm deployments might pose a belated collision hazard to the space station, as they evaluated a SpaceX proposal to combine what had previously been planned as independent COTS 2 and 3 demonstration missions. The first was to include a fly-by to test Dragon’s approach and abort capabilities, followed by a berthing mission if the first demo went well.

The article states that NASA will hold a Flight Readiness Review meeting on February 3 to "establish a formal launch date."

So the February 7 launch date is not 100% certain.

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