SpaceX delays launch to ISS
SpaceX has suffered another hitch in its quest to become the first commercial company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS). The launch scheduled for May 19 from Cape Canaveral was cancelled due to a potential problem with one of the engines aboard the Falcon 9 launch vehicle, but all systems should be go on May 22.
Here's the official SpaceX statement:
Cape Canaveral, Fl -- Today SpaceX Exploration Technologies, (SpaceX) issued the following statement on today’s launch attempt.
Today’s launch was aborted when the flight computer detected slightly high pressure in the engine 5 combustion chamber. We have discovered root cause and repairs are underway.
During rigorous inspections of the engine, SpaceX engineers discovered a faulty check valve on the Merlin engine. We are now in the process of replacing the failed valve. Those repairs should be complete tonight. We will continue to review data on Sunday.
If things look good, we will be ready to attempt to launch on Tuesday, May 22nd at 3:44 AM Eastern.
The latest Twiiter update from the company confirms a faulty check valve on engine #5 as the issue. A replacement is being fitted and the revised launch time still stands.
We'll keep you posted throughout the week.
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As for the current Falcon 9, yeah, there are 9 times the moving parts, but that's why you do engine testing. And the Merlin rocket engine has proven to be fairly reliable so far.