Jun 23, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

‘Houston, We Have a Problem’—SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch Called Off

Jan 06, 2015 05:31 PM EST


After weeks of anticipation for private spaceflight company SpaceX's innovative new launch scheduled for departure earlier this morning, Jan. 6, NASA officials reported that the launch was called off due to technical difficulties, only minutes before liftoff. 

Knowing the waste associated with space exploration, the millions of dollars invested in early flight stages merely shelled off into space, private-sector rocket company SpaceX decided to rework how the space exploration game is played. Developing reusable pieces, that if brought back with a spacecraft could be used on yet another mission, the company intended to change the spaceflight industry with today's launch, but with only minutes to spare, cancelled after one of the Falcon 9 rocket's second stage failed to perform.

"At 1:21 before launch, a thrust vector control actuator for the Falcon 9's 2nd stage failed to perform as expected" NASA officials said in a statement to the press. "SpaceX is investigating."

SpaceX communications manager John Taylor further explained that the thrust vector control actuators are used to steer the rocket in flight, and since they are of vital importance to the mission, SpaceX has decided to delay the planned launch until the issue can be resolved.

"During terminal count, engineers observed drift on one of the thrust vector actuators on the second stage that would likely have caused an automatic abort" Taylor says. "Engineers called a hold in order to take a closer look."

SpaceX planned to test out its newest model of the remotely-piloted space capsule with a mission to resupply the International Space Station this week with experiments, food, tools and other necessities. Though the company has made many of these previous missions before, this mission was unique in that it would try to recover the second stage tanks to be recycled and reused at a later date.

After the resupply mission is complete, the Falcon 9 would enter the far more precarious stage of the mission, wherein, it would return back to Earth. But it won't be a crash landing like others of its kind. Instead, SpaceX planned for a precision landing on a robotic barge, akin to an oil rigger, floating in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Though today's launch was a failure, and only a momentary setback in the mission's plans, NASA said via Twitter that the next possible opportunity for launch is 5:09 ET Friday morning, Jan. 9, "pending resolution of the issue".

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