SpaceX halts latest Falcon 9 rocket launch at last second

Adam Westlake - Feb 18, 2017
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SpaceX halts latest Falcon 9 rocket launch at last second

Saturday was set to see yet another rocket launch from SpaceX, the private space company led by Elon Musk, this time with a goal of delivering supplies to the International Space Station on behalf of NASA. The Falcon 9 rocket was scheduled to launch at 10:01AM ET from Cape Canaveral, Florida, however, with a mere 13 seconds left on the countdown clock, the flight was aborted over safety concerns.

It seems SpaceX’s engineers detected something amiss in the rocket’s upper stage. The company says it halted the liftoff out of an “overabundance of caution,” but the hope is that the issue can be quickly resolved, as the launch has been rescheduled to almost 24 hours later, on Sunday at 9:38AM ET.

Musk shared on Twitter that the cause of delay was movement in an upper stage engine piston. He added that this alone wouldn’t affect the rocket’s flight, but they want to make sure it isn’t a sign of a larger problem.

The Falcon 9 rocket needs to be launched this weekend as the ISS is currently orbiting directly over Cape Canaveral, and SpaceX’s Dragon capsule must be on a specific path to correctly dock with the laboratory. After the rescheduled Sunday launch, SpaceX will make another attempt at landing the rocket’s first stage booster on a ground-based landing pad.

SOURCE Elon Musk


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