SpaceX launch aborted after last minute engine glitch £341
19th May 2012 | 14:41
Commercial rocket was bound for the International Space Station
Private space company SpaceX has aborted a planned launch to the International Space Station just half a second before lift-off.
The Dragon space capsule had been scheduled to blast-off on its debut mission, en route to deliver supplies to the International Space station, but an engine problem forced the company to call it off.
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The Falcon 9 rockets engines had all fired and "lift-off" had been ordered, but an excessive pressure reading saw the abort at the last possible moment.
It's now likely to be early next week before the SpaceX can schedule another launch at the Kennedy Space Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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SpaceX CEO, the PayPal founder Elon Musk revealed on Twitter: "Launch aborted: slightly high combustion chamber pressure on engine 5. Will adjust limits for countdown in a few days."
The launch was significant as the Dragon Capsule's debut flight was the first non-government vessel to head for the ISS.
The onus for space exploration is now on companies like SpaceX and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' Blue Orbit, following the controversial shut down of the NASA space program.