The launch of the first private spacecraft to the International Space Station was aborted in the final seconds Saturday morning when launch computers detected a technical problem.
The unmanned Falcon 9 rocket was scheduled to launch early Saturday morning, bound for the International Space Station where it would deliver 1,000 pounds of supplies. Seconds before the launch, a problem was detected in engine 5 of the space craft, causing the computer system to abort the launch.
Space X is now planning to launch the Falcon 9 on Tuesday if the problem can be resolved.
The Falcon 9 would have been the first privately designed spacecraft to enter the orbit of the International Space Station. The goal of the program is to provide a vehicle for astronauts to reach the space station from American soil.
The launch of the Falcon 9 is, by space standards, relatively inexpensive.
“If you do the math, it’s about $133 million a mission,” CBS Space Consultant Bob Harwood explained, “That sounds like a lot, but in the world of space operations, that’s a bargain.”
The Falcon 9 rocket has its disadvantages as well. The rocket has less power and maneuverability that its predecessor the space shuttle. Falcon 9 must be launched directly into the International Space Station’s orbit, which means there is a narrow launch window.
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