Today, SpaceX was to launch its Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Launch Complex 39A for the first time. The mission was originally scheduled to happen last year from a different NASA platform but was rescheduled after a Falcon 9 exploded on the launch pad. Unfortunately, SpaceX was forced to push the launch to tomorrow.
Mission Control observed an issue with the second stage thrust vector control system and has scrubbed today’s launch attempt. There will be updates, but for now, the mission has been rescheduled for tomorrow.
Elon Musk tweeted SpaceX assessment of the problem:
If this is the only issue, flight would be fine, but need to make sure that it isn't symptomatic of a more significant upstream root cause
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 18, 2017
Earlier this month, we watched a SpaceX rocket -- fully loaded with its satellite -- explode suddenly and inexplicably. At the time, the cause remained a mystery, but now SpaceX's engineers have traced the flaw to its source.Read more
The rocket was scheduled to blast off at exactly 2:01am AEDT and carry 2495kg of cargo to the International Space Station. Following the delivery of its payload, the first stage of the rocket would have touched down at Cape Canaveral’s Landing Zone 1.
Launch Complex 39A carries a special history for NASA and space lovers alike. The pad was used to send the first man to the moon and many other landmark missions. It has been dormant since the Shuttle program was put on hiatus back in 2011.