SpaceX has confirmed that the launch of its Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s iconic LC39A launchpad at the Kennedy Space Center has been aborted due to some kind of system issue.
The Elon Musk-led private space firm was supposed to launch the unmanned spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) on Saturday. However, the mission had to be aborted only 00:13:00 before the scheduled liftoff.
The company has clarified that its engineers are working on the issue and the launch should not be delayed by more than 24 hours.
According to BusinessInsider, the underlying reason behind this delay is a minor problem with the TVC, which is located in the upper half of the second rocket — more specifically, in the motor of the second stage.
If that’s the case, then SpaceX engineered have known the issue for at least 24 hours or so. That’s considering Musk himself had tweeted about a leak on in rocket’s upper stage. The company is yet to confirm whether or not the delay was caused by that glitch.
Worth noting, this will be the first rocket to launch from Kennedy Space Center’s LC39 since NASA officially wrapped up its space shuttle program in July 2011. The launchpad holds special significance in the minds of space enthusiasts as this is the same place where the historic Apollo moon missions were launched.
The Falcon 9 rocket will carry a spacecraft called the Dragon which is packed with more than 5,000 pounds of cargo for the ISS.
Once the mission resumes, the rocket will lift the Dragon to orbit. If everything goes as per the plan, the first stage of the rocket will then land back at Cape Canaveral.
While SpaceX has pulled off such complicated missions before, the company is keen on perfecting the technique further so it can successfully reuse it rockets, thereby cutting the cost of future missions significantly.