Taiwanese company TiSPACE has aborted a second attempt to launch its Hapith l rocket from South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, this time because of a systems fault.
The 10-metre, two-stage, suborbital rocket was set to blast off from the Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex on Wednesday afternoon.
The launch was previously scheduled for Friday last week but was delayed because of strong winds.
Wednesday’s countdown was halted just before lift-off when one of the rocket’s systems failed to come online.
At 2:18 pm (ACST) Southern Launch and TiSPACE countdown was halted just before lift-off, stopping the launch sequence. During the final steps prior to lift-off, one of the systems did not come online. As per safety protocols, the rocket was put into a safe state.
— Southern Launch (@SouthernLaunch) September 15, 2021
Southern Launch, which operates the Whalers Way facility, said as a result the rocket was put into a “safe state”.
“The Southern Launch and TiSPACE teams are assessing the status of the launch vehicle, including the ability to attempt another launch at a later date,” Southern Launch chief executive Lloyd Damp said.
Mr Damp has previously said the launch window remained open until September 23.
“Space is hard and that’s why we’re taking an incremental approach to developing an Australian space launch capability,” he said last week.
“We had planned and trained for this potential outcome, facing an external factor like weather which would result in our teams needing to postpone the launch.”
TiSPACE will use the launch to test its hybrid propulsion systems, and as a prelude to commercial launches of satellites in the future.