Science

SpaceX Scrubs Falcon Launch at Last Minute; Reschedules for Sunday

SpaceX Scrubs Falcon Launch at Last Minute; Reschedules for Sunday

"Baby, came back", SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk posted on Instagram, along with a photo of the rocket landing on ground at LZ-1 on the Florida coast.

Dragon was originally supposed to launch Saturday morning (Feb. 18), but SpaceX scrubbed the attempt with just 13 seconds to go on the countdown clock because of an issue with the second-stage engine of its Falcon 9 rocket. It will be the Hawthorne space company's first launch from Launch Complex 39A, the pad where the Apollo and space shuttle missions launched.

The Falcon 9 rocket that launched on the weekend was carrying a Dragon supply ship to the International Space Station as part of a resupply mission for NASA.

As an extra treat for spectators, SpaceX aims to land the booster rocket back at Cape Canaveral following liftoff.

The mission, which is SpaceX' tenth cargo delivery to the ISS, was due to liftoff on Saturday, but the launch was called off after an unexpected reading from the rocket's second stage.

To add further significance to the launch, it was the debut of SpaceX's Kennedy's Launch Complex 39A.

Argos staff on National Living Wage to receive £64 in underpayments
Sainsbury's, which took over the high street chain six months ago, said the workers had been paid below the national living wage. Sainsbury's said it had changed processes in December as soon as it was possible to do so after being made aware of the issue.

Up at the International Space Station, French astronaut Thomas Pesquet had a light-hearted take on the delay.

"The Falcon has landed once again", a SpaceX spokeswoman said on a live webcast, as loud cheers and applause erupted at the company's mission control center in Hawthorne, California.

The original plan was to launch a year ago from the company's other pad at Launch Complex 40, which is overseen by Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

There's a 99 per cent chance everything is likely to be fine, Musk said in a tweet. Although SpaceX hasn't yet re-launched a previously flown booster, that could change soon.

In the meantime, engineers plan to "take a closer look at the position of the second stage engine nozzle", SpaceX said.

SpaceX and Boeing are planning to launch astronauts to the space station next year from the Kennedy Space Center and from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The last time something was launched from this specific launch pad was in 2011.


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