Satellite Destroyed During SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch Due to Engine Failure
Experimental communications satellite OG2 that was sent to space on SpaceX Falcon 9 had destroyed during launch, the satellite operator Orbcomm has confirmed.
New Jersey-based Orbcomm has said that a glitch during liftoff caused the experimental satellite to fall out of orbit and burn to ashes in the atmosphere. The satellite was launched aboard SpaceX Falcon 9 on October 7.
The prototype was planned to reach an altitude of 466 miles above the Earth, but it fell short after one of the Falcon 9 rocket's nine Merlin engines closed earlier than expected. Katherine Nelson, a spokesperson for SpaceX, said that the satellite operator new the risk from the beginning, as the satellite was not part of the core mission.
Speaking on the topic, Nelson added, “Orbcomm understood from the beginning that the orbit-raising maneuver was tentative. They accepted that there was a high risk of their satellite remaining at the Dragon insertion orbit.”
Under a $1.6 billion contract with NASA, SpaceX will send a total of 12 flights to the International Space Station (ISS).
Orbcomm has claimed an insurance policy worth around $10 million to cover the loss of the OG2.
The satellite operator has plans to launch eight satellites next year and nine satellites in 2014 using Falcon 9 rockets to create a seventeen-member communications satellite network.
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