Today's launch of the CRS-5 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) has been scrubbed. The launch, which was scheduled for 6:20 am EST, was aborted one minute and 21 seconds prior to lift off due to an issue with the second stage. The launch would have seen the first attempt of a powered booster landing on a barge.
The second delay of SpaceX's unmanned CRS-5 mission to resupply the space station, today's abort was necessary because the launch window was only one second, so any delay meant rescheduling due to fuel considerations. The gantry has been replaced and the second stage is being vented of its cryogenic propellants so engineers can determine the fault.
CRS-5 is the seventh flight of the SpaceX Dragon to the ISS and its fifth commercial flight under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract. The previous launch scheduled in December was scrubbed due to an unsatisfactory static test of the Merlin engine used to power the Falcon 9. At a press conference on Monday, a SpaceX spokesman explained that the problem was not severe, but the encroaching holiday season drove the decision to postpone the next attempt until after the new year.
The launch has now been rescheduled for a third attempt on January 9.