What do they all have in common? Well, as it turns out, not as much as I thought, or at least hoped, when I wrote this post at The Corner, because we now know that SpaceX won’t be flying tomorrow, due to a nozzle issue on the second stage. But the main points of it stand.
By the way, if they can change out a nozzle with only an additional two-day delay, that’s pretty remarkable. That kind of problem on the Shuttle could mean weeks. As I noted in comments over at Clark Lindsey’s, though, I wonder how many spares they have for upper-stage nozzles? If it were a first-stage nozzle, it would probably be no problem, because with nine engines, they have to really be cranking them out. But the single engine on the
firstsecond stage, while using the same powerhead, has a different nozzle, because it has a higher expansion ratio for vacuum operations. But presumably, they have at least one in Florida, or if not, it’s a one-day trip from Hawthorne.