Sun, Feb 12, 2006
Launch Scrubbed Over Unidentified Problem
Once again, the
scheduled launch of the SpaceX Falcon 1 vehicle was scrubbed
Friday, after an as-yet unidentified problem cropped up during a
pre-launch countdown test on Kwajalein Atoll that included a brief
firing of the rocket's engine.
"We were very happy to be able to execute a flight countdown all
the way to lighting the engine," said SpaceX founder Elon Musk on
the company's website. "Although there wasn't a launch this time,
we made a lot of progress refining the rocket and launch pad -- all
work that needed to be done anyway."
SpaceX representatives told Aero-News the rocket was lowered
from its launchpad Friday night for further investigation into the
Friday's delay marked the third time SpaceX has had to scrub the
planned first launch of its rocket, which the company hopes will
one day provide satellite customers with a privately-funded
alternative to NASA.
Sources at SpaceX report it will likely be two to four weeks
before the company tries again.
While such delays are no doubt discouraging to the SpaceX team,
Musk has pointed out many times delays are
the nature of the rocket biz -- not just for start-ups
like SpaceX, but also for established programs such as Boeing's
Meanwhile, it looks like the SpaceX crew will again get to spend
some quality time on Omalek... where the temperature was a balmy 83
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