SpaceX CRS-5 Launch Delayed Until January

2014 isn’t going to end with a historic soft landing, a bang, or even a splash for SpaceX and the Falcon 9. Following a static fire test for the booster which took place on Tuesday, SpaceX has delayed the mission due to an unspecified problem.

While the company is not elaborating further at this point, a statement by SpaceX spokesperson John Taylor that the static fire test did not run to full duration suggests the issue is related to the 9 Merlin 1-D main engines rather than the spate of nagging helium pressurization problems which have been a frequent fixture of SpaceX launches.

Taylor did state that while the data suggested a second attempt could have been undertaken, due to “an abundance of caution” the launch team would be standing down until the New Year.

The International Space Station is coming up on a 10 period where the “beta angle” of the sun’s rays and the station’s orbit will keep it bathed in near continuous sunlight, creating difficulties with berthing visiting spacecraft. The expiration of the window, which begins December 28th and ends January 8th, provides the time frame for the next likely launch attempt, which now appears to be in the early morning of January 6th, with berthing to take place on the 8th.

Posted in: NASA, SpaceX

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