During our final check-outs prior to static fire, we uncovered an anomaly with the thrust vector control (TVC) pitch actuator on the second stage that will result in launch being pushed to February.  Since this is not used during the static fire, we have decided to push forward with that test in order to acquire valuable data on engine ignition, pad acoustics, and the overall system response.  The static fire is now planned to occur between Saturday and Tuesday (California time).  This test will proceed very slowly and then only burns for about four seconds, so will not be webcast to avoid boring people silly.  We will post a video afterwards.

Upon completion of the static fire, we will take the rocket back into the hangar to thoroughly investigate the TVC issue.  With the range available to us only until January 23 (Kwaj needs to reconfigure for an incoming Minuteman mission), this means launch is now planned for mid-February.  As I’ve mentioned previously, don’t hold your breath for this launch.  Given the large number of robustness improvements and the fact that our vehicle/pad health verification system has increased from about 30 checks to almost 1000, shifts in the launch date are to be expected.  Overall, the SpaceX team is quite happy with the smooth progress so far.

– Elon