SpaceX's countdown to launching its first geosynchronous transfer mission reached T-minus 0 on Thursday (Nov. 28), but the company's upgraded Falcon 9 rocket topped with the SES-8 telecommunications satellite never left the launch pad.
Trouble with the Falcon's nine first stage Merlin engines forced an abort moments after ignition.
"Launch aborted by autosequence due to slower than expected thrust ramp," SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wrote on Twitter.
After recycling the countdown, a second launch attempt ended in a manual abort being called at T-minus 48 seconds, as engineers ran out of time to analyze what had happened to cause the earlier engine cutoff.
"We called manual abort," Musk tweeted. "Better to be paranoid and wrong."
After scrubbing for the day, Musk said a next launch attempt might be "in a few days." SpaceX is now targeting
Tuesday (Dec. 3).