Tuesday 26 September 2017

Private rocket suffers failure to launch

The SpaceX Falcon 9 test rocket launch is pictured at Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Photo: Reuters
The SpaceX Falcon 9 test rocket launch is pictured at Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Photo: Reuters

MARCIA DUNN

A new private supply ship for the International Space Station remained stuck on the ground yesterday after rocket engine trouble led to a last-second abort of the historic flight.

The ignition sequence for the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket started up at the three-second mark yesterday morning, but the onboard computers automatically shut down, leaving the rocket on its launch pad amid a plume of exhaust.

Even NASA's most seasoned launch commentator was taken off guard.

"Three, two, one, zero and lift-off," announced commentator George Diller, his voice trailing as the rocket failed to budge. "We've had a cut-off. Lift-off did not occur."

Tuesday is the earliest that SpaceX can try again to send its cargo-laden Dragon capsule to the space station.

Sunday Independent

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