by a Thinker, Sailor, Blogger, Irreverent Guy from Madras

SpaceX Falcon 9 launch aborted

Today the first private rocket was scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral in Florida on a mission to deliver a capsule full of supplies to the International Space Station.  The launch of the Falcon 9 rocket and its Dragon capsule by SpaceX, the first commercial company to attempt a rendezvous with the orbiting outpost was to be historic first step towards the privatisation of space exploration.

As I was watching the webcast, the launch time came and passed.  The first stage appeared to fire but seemed to be muted.  Seconds later came the disappointing news that the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch has been aborted for the day.

The Falcon 9 rocket has flown twice before, successfully reaching orbit on both occasions. An earlier SpaceX rocket, Falcon 1, failed to reach orbit in its first three test flights, though there have been no failures since.

For the launch the Dragon capsule has been loaded with nearly half a tonne of food, water, clothing, batteries, laptops, lab equipment and science experiments from nearly a thousand schools across USA.  The Dragon capsule is intended to dock with the ISS and after completing the mission is to make a ocean touchdown after 3 weeks.  Suffice to say the Dragon capsule is reusable.

As I write this post, the official tweet by @elonmusk is that the Launch has been aborted due to slightly high combustion chamber pressure on Engine 5.  It seems the onboard computers noticed the higher chamber pressure in Engine 5, one of the nine Merlin engines powering the Falcon 9.
In between the SpaceX website flashed that the next launch window for Falcon 9 is on May 22nd, Tuesday.  Have to remember to watch the launch then.

[image grab from webcast]

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