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.