SpaceX Flight Aborted at Last Second

Tuesday morning next chance for 1st private launch to space station
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2012 5:02 AM CDT
SpaceX Flight Aborted at Last Second
This framegrab from NASA-TV shows the Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket on the launch pad at complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., seconds after the launch was aborted.   (AP Photo/NASA)

History is on hold, at least until Tuesday, as SpaceX's maiden flight was aborted at the very last second this morning, reports CBS News. The unmanned Falcon 9 rocket was poised to become the first by a privately funded company to try to send a capsule to the International Space Station, but as the countdown neared zero and the engine ignition sequence started, on-board computers triggered an automatic shutdown. Engineers suspect an engine pressure problem.

The Falcon 9 holds a capsule named Dragon that was supposed to bring 1,000 pounds of supplies to the space station. "Next time Dragon sees the sun, it should be doing 17,000 mph over the Atlantic," tweeted SpaceX's CEO Elon Musk in the hours before the countdown. But after the failed launch, he wrote: "Launch aborted: slightly high combustion chamber pressure on engine 5. Will adjust limits for countdown in a few days." The Falcon 9 is now slated to launch Tuesday at 3:44am, if engineers can sort out the problems in time. (Read more International Space Station stories.)

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