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SpaceX Had To Call Off A Launch Only A Few Seconds Before Liftoff

SpaceX was supposed to launch a rocket into space today, but it didn’t after Elon Musk said that an aircraft entered restricted airspace. The decision to hold the launch was made with T-11 seconds frozen on the clock. ( More...

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I hope the FAA has a sit-down meeting with whoever violated the NOTAM entered the restricted airspace.
'Hi, um, give us your pilot's license.' *RIP*
Peter McGrath 3
Maybe fining the pilot the cost of what the launch delay is going to be might change his perspective on flying and ignoring NOTAM's. Too many people think "I should be able to do whatever I want to do!"
That would make sense, but they have proved that the death penalty doesn't stop someone from committing a murder so I doubt it would stop people from being stupid like that. But I guess it should also depend on how far 'over the line' they were.

Watching launches is a definite thrill. I good friend of mine was on a flight to MIA, and there was a shuttle launch about to happen. The pilot came on and announced the impending launch, and said that since they were early, they were going to circle and hopefully watch the launch. THe friend said that it was nearly a 50/50 split. Some were geeked at the opportunity to watch the launch, and some were furious that they would be delayed landing. But anyway, then the pilot came on and said, after a few minutes, that the launch failed, and was being rescheduled. He then joked that they wouldn't wait for it (pilot humour?) and some laughed, but some were still angry they were 'delayed', even though they were still early. Shuttle launch delays weren't uncommon. I missed a launch, and it was one of the most delayed launches they had. It would have been a thrill, for sure, to see (feel!) a launch, but how cool would it be to just see it lifting off. I've heard you have to FEEL the incredible power pounding your chest.
dee9bee 3
In this day of ADS-B, the FAA probably knows what aircraft to look for. The Pilot will be 'reprogrammed', nothing more.
Craig Good 4
Trust Jalopnik to find a way to twist the story around to a criticism of Musk. Sheesh.

In this case Musk may have a valid point. The TFR may be larger than it needs to be. I wonder if the pilot was given a phone number to call.
M20ExecDriver 6
Send the perp the bill for the delay and put the story on nationwide news.
Chris Croft 8
Possibly Harrison Ford on one of his "confused" flights?
It won't be hard for FAA to identify this miscreant. Anyone who cannot read and comply with NOTAMs has no business in command of an aircraft. Whether Part 91 or 135, the punishment should be swift and severe. IIRC, the penalty for violating a TFR is a fine of up to $100,000 and/or a year in jail. (That's from memory. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.) Given the cost to SpaceX, NASA, et al, those penalties do not seem excessive.
Wondering if this was connected to the "Peaceful Protests" where Space-X is endangering a nearby wildlife area?
Randy Marco -2
Probably connected to another repugnant conspiracy theory!
It’s hard to believe that the “ air space “ was not monitored and cleared . Could it be other reason(s) why the launch was called off ??
Michael Hawke 2
The airspace was monitored which is how they knew the helicopter was violating the zone. They don’t scramble a fighter to clear space for everything when radar will suffice.
Mark Kanzler 1
Hobbyist's Drone?
ron serafin 1
Saftey I guess
Ryan Pickett 1
Elon Musk made a big stink about the FAA system being broken because of this. The system isn’t broken. The pilot didn’t check the notams, plain and simple. Had the pilot checked the notams like they were supposed to, they would have seen there was an active TFR for that airspace. To quote an angry pilot who threw a fuel mat at a co-worker of mine, “This is the stuff that gets people killed!”
Alan Dahl 2
I will have to see if I can find a citation but the scuttlebutt at the time was it was a military aircraft that caused the scrub, not a civilian one.
Ryan Pickett 1
My information says it was a private helicopter.
Matt Lacey 2
If it was a local chopper pilot, they know quite well where the lines are. The ONLY possible excuse was this one was on a very southerly trajectory, the 2nd or 3rd to do this since the 60s and all in recent months. If the pilot was doing play by play for the tourists, he/she would’ve been aware of that fact too.
Kevin Holly 1
Elon was saying the no fly bubble is in unnecessarily large and in this case he seems to be correct. The area where the heli was is FAR from the pad and it's an area where there are civilians watching the launch. Even at full speed the heli couldn't have gotten anywhere remotely near the vehicle.
Jesse Carroll 2
Rules are Rules!
Elliot Cannon 1
He didn't check NOTAMS? It wasn't a senator was it? Was that little scamp Inhofe blundering through the sky again?
Michael Coyle -2
Just more evidence it’s a jellybean condensers on the X one require extensive evaluation and possible rework due to gyroscopic malfunctions
Bill Butler 1
Bernie20910 1
I think his gyro crashed


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