SpaceX launch from Cape Canaveral delayed to no earlier than Friday

Steve Phelps
December 14, 2017

Since the incident, SpaceX had moved its launches to Pad 39A, which is where the Apollo missions to the Moon had blasted off. Capture of the automated cargo carrier by the space station's Canadian-built robotic arm is expected at 6 a.m. EST (1100 GMT), less than four hours after three new crew members heading for the outpost are scheduled to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The launch, which will take place from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, will be the first SpaceX launch for NASA featuring an already-used first stage booster for the Falcon 9. However, more system checks mean that the SpaceX rocket launch must be postponed to Friday at 10:35 a.m. EST.

"Taking additional time for the team to conduct full inspections and cleanings due to detection of particles in 2nd stage fuel system", the company tweeted. "Next launch opportunity would be no earlier than late December".

As the SpaceX Rocket launch has been postponed, this is the second launch delay in the last two days, and third generally for the SpaceX mission, called CRS-13. The company does not have immediate plans to do so, but the new pad could support a launch cadence as high as one mission per week.

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The mission will be the 13 delivery flight to the ISS for NASA by SpaceX, which has a resupply contract with the USA space agency. (2,177 kilograms) of food, supplies and science gear - and maybe even some Christmas presents - for the station's astronaut crew. The Falcon 9 booster rocket that will propel CRS-13 into orbit is the same booster that was used for the CRS-11 launch, back on June 3, 2017.

Yesterday was supposed to mark a historic mission for SpaceX: The first re-launch of a reusable rocket to the International Space Station. The company has augmented the water system, Muratore said, which should make the facility more durable for both static firings and launches.

This week's chilly Space Coast weather will see a burst of warmth on Wednesday when a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasts off from Cape Canaveral on a supply run to the International Space Station.

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