Since the retirement of the Shuttle Program last year, America has no means of launching astronauts into space. In addition to hitching lifts on Russian rockets, they’ve been looking to the private sector to resupply the International Space Station (ISS). There are two contracted firms in the running: Space X and Orbital Sciences Corp – both have been given NASA-size contracts to help with keep the ISS stocked.
I headed over to the Space X webcast page earlier today to watch the first commercial company in history to attempt to visit the International Space Station…Unfortunately, it was aborted.
Today, SpaceX aborted the launch of the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft. Due to the instantaneous launch window, we are not able to recycle and re-attempt the launch today.
Early data indicates that the flight computer detected slightly high combustion chamber pressure on engine 5, which prompted the computer to abort the countdown. We are reviewing the data.
It’s a shame but not a major setback. Although the computers automatically shut down the launch – they can try again on Tuesday.
Apparently, the optimal launch window is only a second long…which has got to be tricky to hit. Either way, I hope they get better luck next time…Commercial space travel looks like the only way it’s going to be possible for the next decade or so…
Good luck to SpaceX on their next launch attempt!
Edit – They had a successful launch on Tuesday and then made history by being the First Commercial Spacecraft to Attach to the Space Station on May 25th. Good work!