The long awaited, oft delayed launch of the Falcon 9 rocket from the private space firm SpaceX has been delayed again after a failed valve on engine #5 caused an unsafe rise in pressure in the engine. The rise in pressure could have caused an explosion so the mission was aborted shortly before launch. The mission is slated for a relaunch try on May 22nd.
The SpaceX guys went on Google+ to tell us the update on the problem:
SpaceX also released a statement regarding the aborted launch:
“Today’s launch was aborted when the flight computer detected slightly high pressure in the engine 5 combustion chamber. We have discovered root cause and repairs are underway. During rigorous inspections of the engine, SpaceX engineers discovered a faulty check valve on the Merlin engine. We are now in the process of replacing the failed valve. Those repairs should be complete tonight. We will continue to review data on Sunday. If things look good, we will be ready to attempt to launch on Tuesday, May 22nd at 3:44 AM Eastern.”
Here is a short part of the interview about the abort with the abort video at the end:
Here is the full interview from NASA and SpaceX explaining the abort:
If the Falcon 9 ever launches and is successful, the Dragon capsule will dock to the International Space Station, then SpaceX will begin to fulfill its contract through the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The resupply contract for the International Space Station has it making 12 runs, and since it is reusable, they will have the ability to ferry items back and forth, not just trash but experiments.