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SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket aborts double-satellite launch at last minute

A veteran SpaceX rocket poised to make its 14th flight aborted a launch attempt on Thursday (Oct. 6) with less than one minute before liftoff.

The Falcon 9 rocket was slated to launch two communications payloads for Intelsat, the Galaxy 33 and Galaxy 34 satellites, when it initiated an automatic abort just 30 seconds before a planned liftoff from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 7:20 p.m. EDT (2320 GMT). SpaceX said it will make a second attempt to launch the mission on Friday (Oct. 7) at 7:06 p.m. EDT (2306 GMT). You can watch the SpaceX launch live online, courtesy of SpaceX, starting about 15 minutes before liftoff.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said the automatic abort was triggered by a slight helium leak on the rocket.

"Tiny helium leak (just barely triggered abort), but we take no risks with customer satellites," Musk wrote on Twitter after the abort. "Standing down to investigate."

SpaceX reported both Galaxy satellites are fine and prepared for a new launch try.

"Rocket and payload are in good health—teams are working toward tomorrow's 69-minute launch window opening at 7:06 p.m. ET," the company wrote on Twitter.

The upcoming SpaceX mission will mark the company's third launch in three days. SpaceX launched four astronauts to the International Space Station from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday (Oct. 5) and followed that up hours later with the launch of 52 satellites from California's Vandenberg Space Force Base on the same day.

The Crew-5 astronaut launch, which included the first Russian cosmonaut to fly on a Dragon capsule, arrived at the station Thursday afternoon.

Follow Pegasus Aerospace System on Twitter @systemaerospace. Follow us on Twitter @systemaerospace or Facebook, Linkedin and Instagram @pegasusaerospace.

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