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Mon, Dec 19, 2005

Not Again! SpaceX Launch Scrubbed

Will Try Again In 2006

Aero-News has learned the planned launch of SpaceX's Falcon 1 rocket has been scrubbed for a second time, and it will be 2006 before another attempt is made.

"There's not a lot to comment on at this time," said SpaceX's Larry Williams to Aero-News, adding the company will release a statement shortly. Preliminary media reports indicate a structural issue in the Falcon 1's first stage fuel tank may have been to blame for the cancellation.

As was previously reported in Aero-News, the launch was cancelled once before over a number of issues -- not the least of which seems to have been a double shot of bad luck. An uncommanded computer reboot followed by a mis-set LOX valve conspired to scrub the planned November 26 launch from Omelek Island in the Kwajalein Atoll.

Also during the November 26 incident, liquid oxygen leaked out of the rocket -- which required a new batch of fuel to be barged in to the mid-Pacific island.

The Falcon 1 -- first in a planned series of privately-developed rockets from El Segundo, CA-based SpaceX -- carries onboard the FalconSat-2 satellite, developed by the US Air Force and DARPA to measure space plasma phenomena.

Stay with ANN as we follow this breaking story.

FMI: www.spacex.com

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