Science

SpaceX Rocket Launch Has Been Postponed To Friday

Once again the SpaceX Rocket launch has been postponed, this time to Friday. The launch plan to include a used Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule which contains NASA cargo. The spacecraft won’t launch before Friday, Dec. 13 as extra inspections need to be performed, and cleaning after engineers found particles located in the booster’s second-stage fuel system.

SpaceX Rocket Launch
Image Credit: SpaceX

Both the SpaceX Falcon 9 booster and Dragon Spacecraft were supposed to fly their second flight, which is to be a delivery mission for NASA, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida this Wednesday, Dec. 13. However, more system checks mean that the SpaceX rocket launch must be postponed to Friday at 10:35 a.m. EST.

“SpaceX is taking additional time for the team to conduct full inspections and cleanings due to detection of particles in 2nd stage fuel system,” SpaceX wrote in a Twitter status update. “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. Initially, the mission was supposed to launch on Dec. 8. However, last week, SpaceX delayed the launch until Tuesday, Dec. 12, and then on Monday night it was moved to Wednesday.

The mission will be the 13th delivery flight to the ISS for NASA by SpaceX, which has a resupply contract with the U.S. space agency. The Dragon spacecraft will deliver 4,800 lbs of food, supplies and science gear. There’s a possibility that it will even deliver some Christmas presents to the astronaut crew on the station.

The SpaceX has never been launched with a used Dragon and Falcon 9 booster together. The company managed to land 19 Falcon 9 boosters within its ongoing reusable rocket program which reduces the costs of spaceflight. The mission which is now scheduled for Friday will mark SpaceX’s return to launching from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station after the 2016 explosion at a launch site. During the last year, SpaceX conducted upgrades and repairs to make the launch site more secure. Meanwhile, the company flew Falcon 9 missions nearby, at Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, which SpaceX uses for commercial launching, together with Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Update: This Friday morning, the space company is planning to set its SpaceX Rocket Launch, with spacecraft full of supplies heading to the International Space Station. You will be able to watch the live stream of the launch on NASA’s website, with broadcast being scheduled at 10 a.m. ET, while the launch window will open at 10:36 a.m. If you can’t access NASA’s website for some reason, a SpaceX webcast will be available too and it will broadcast the launch.