SpaceX pushes back cargo launch

SpaceX pushes back cargo launch

Louis Dillon

SpaceX’s planned cargo mission for NASA upon its uncrewed Dragon resupply ship has been delayed again by 24 hours.

The launch will now go ahead on Wednesday night Australian time, from the Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

SpaceX provided a Twitter update on the mission: "Static fire test of Falcon 9 complete — targeting May 1 launch from Pad 40 in Florida for Dragon's seventeenth mission to the @Space_Station."

The mission is SpaceX's 17th delivery for NASA, with a payload of nearly 2.5 tonnes of supplies, hardware and other gear to the International Space Station, to the astronauts undertaking Expedition 59.

The launch had already been delayed by four days originally due to "station and orbital mechanics restraints", and suffered an "anomaly" during static testing last week, the cause of which is still yet to be determined.

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“Earlier today, SpaceX conducted a series of engine tests on a Crew Dragon test vehicle on our test stand at Landing Zone 1 in Cape Canaveral, Florida,” a spokesperson from the company said in a statement at the time.

“The initial tests completed successfully but the final test resulted in an anomaly on the test stand.

“Ensuring that our systems meet rigorous safety standards and detecting anomalies like this prior to flight are the main reasons why we test.

“Our teams are investigating and working closely with our NASA partners.”

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