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NASA and SpaceX Dragon Launch Suffers Problem

March 1, 2013

By Paul Thomson :: 10:41 AM

Problem with SpaceX Dragon capsule launch.NASA and private space flight company SpaceX sent a Falcon 9 rocket off at 10:10 a.m. Eastern time from Cape Canaveral, Fla., to head to the International Space Station on a resupply mission.

NASA TV reported a problem with the rocket launch about 10 minutes after impact, but has not said what the exact nature of the problem is, or how it will affect the mission.

The Dragon capsule on board the rocket is packed with about 1,200 pounds of experiments and supply cargo for the astronauts aboard the space station. The plan was for the vehicle to dock with the station for about three weeks, and then return to Earth with about 2,300 pounds of cargo.

SpaceX, performed a resupply mission to the space station successfully in October of 2012, and is theonly commercial company to have ever performed this task. SpaceX has a $1.6-billion contract to carry out 12 cargo missions – this is the second mission of the contract.

Update: [10:47  AM] According to unconfirmed information, the problem may be one of two issues. First, that solar panels on the Dragon capsule did not deploy as expected, or secondly, that there is some issue with Dragon’s thruster pods.

Update: [10:52 AM] Tweet (below) from Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO confirms second possibility – issue with Dragon thruster pods.

Update: [10:55 AM] NASA and SpaceX will hold a joint press conference at 11:oo AM to discuss problem with launch.


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