A Coast Guard investigation is underway after the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Harmony of the Sea was responsible for scrubbing the SpaceX launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base on Sunday night.
The ship turned to the exclusion zone along the flight path of the Falcon 9 rocket shortly before launch at 6:11 EST, evacuating SpaceX from the mission and preparing for a 24-hour turnaround. The Harmony of the Sea is the world’s third largest cruise ship with a gross tonnage of 226,963. There are 2,747 private rooms, 6,687 passengers and 2,200 crew members.
In a statement released Monday, US Coast Guard spokesman David Mikarev said, “We can confirm that the cruise ship was the Harmony of the Seas. The Coast Guard said on Sunday’s cruise ship. We are actively investigating the invasion of the Space X and the postponement of the Space X launch. “
“Our main concern is the safety of seafarers at sea. We will continue to work with federal, state and local port partners to ensure safe and navigable waterways,” Mikarev added. I did.
A Royal Caribbean spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment from Florida Today as of Monday afternoon.
John Murray, Chief Executive Officer of Port Canaveral, said: We will continue to work with them and our space partners to ensure the continued success of this important company. “
The launch engineer waited as long as possible for the Coast Guard to resolve the situation, but eventually ran out of time to meet the momentary window deadline. This showed a fourth delay in previously scrubbed missions due to bad weather around the Launch Complex 40.
Second mission scrub: SpaceX scrubs Cape Canaveral launch and landing twice due to weather
Fourth Mission Scrub: Cruise ship enters danger zone and forces SpaceX to scrub mission 4th
The team then targeted a fifth attempt to launch the Italian Space Agency’s Earth observation satellite at 6:11 pm on Monday. (Visit floridatoday.com for more information on the launch attempt.)
The Sunday launch was scheduled to fly southeast, a corridor that was unused from 1960 to 2020. New technology will allow SpaceX to resume the North and South Pole launch from Florida. It flies almost parallel to the shore, but pilots and sailors need to be aware of the various exclusion zones.
Hazard areas designed to reduce the risk to people in the event of a rocket failure are issued before every mission.
At the beginning of January, Space Launch Delta 45 issued a statement warning pilots and seafarers that there would be more than five polar launches in January alone. It was the fourth release scheduled for Sunday.
“The pace of launches in 2022 is very busy, with up to five launches in the polar regions, a total of seven launches expected in January alone,” Space Force Major Jonathan Zul said in a statement. .. “Due to the unique south orbit, there will be greater potential impact on air and sea traffic along the southeastern coast of Florida.”
“Notice to Airman (NOTAM) and to Mariner to ensure that all pilots and Mariners are fully aware of all pending launch activities in this historic month on the Space Coast. Please reconfirm the notice (NOTMAR), “Szul said.
Sunday’s scrub also promoted the SpaceX mission originally scheduled for Monday. Yet another Falcon 9 rocket at Kennedy Space Center’s Pad 39A will have to wait a bit longer for the launch task of the company’s 37th Starlink Internet satellite.
The ship departed Port Canaveral on Sunday for a seven-night cruise and anchored Perfect Day at Cocokei, the Royal Caribbean’s private island of St. Marten, St. Thomas and the Bahamas.
This article was originally published in Florida Today: Investigation of the Royal Caribbean ship that caused the SpaceX scrub begins