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SpaceX rocket launch aborted in last half-second

Published time: May 19, 2012 10:55
Edited time: May 19, 2012 18:48

The SpaceX Falcon 9 test rocket launch is pictured at Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida May 19, 2012 (Reuters / Pierre DuCharme)

Download video (4.34 MB)

Privately-owned Falcon 9 rocket set to blast to ISS could not take off and remained on the launch pad. This is the first attempt of a private company to deliver cargo to the ISS.

­The launch was due to be executed from Cape Canaveral at 4:55 am EDT (08:55 GMT) on Saturday.

The countdown was practically through and the engine ignition sequence reportedly started when onboard computers automatically halted the process.

Watch the video of Falcon 9 rocket fail to launch after the final countdown is over.

NASA named the high pressure in Engine 5 chamber the reason to abort the SpaceX Dragon launch.

The unmanned Dragon module loaded with half a tonne of provisions for the space expedition is expected to finally head towards the ISS on Tuesday, May 22, if the failure is fixed.

The president of SpaceX, Gwinne Shotwell, told journalists checks and repairs will take about a couple of days. If the malfunction proves to be untraceable or irreparable, the company is ready to replace the failed engine №5 with another one they have at their disposal.

“We do have the next vehicle here at the Cape in our hangar. We will be looking to taking engine №5 off of that vehicle and looking at the option to put it on this one if necessary,” she informed at the NASA-SpaceX joint press conference.

The SpaceX chief promised there is enough time till May 22 to finish all the work and put the rocket back on the launch pad.

This will be the first time in history a private company’s ship delivers a cargo to the ISS.

The initial goal of the SpaceX Company that created the Falcon 9 rocket and the Dragon module is to replace the retired space shuttles and to deliver cargo and eventually, in three to four years, astronauts to the orbit and the ISS.

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SpaceX Falcon 9 test rocket is being prepared for launch from Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida (Reuters / Mike Brown)
SpaceX Falcon 9 test rocket is being prepared for launch from Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida (Reuters / Mike Brown)

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SpaceX Falcon 9 test rocket is being prepared for launch from Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida (Reuters / Mike Brown)
SpaceX Falcon 9 test rocket is being prepared for launch from Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida (Reuters / Mike Brown)

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SpaceX Falcon 9 test rocket is being prepared for launch from Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida (Reuters / Pierre Ducharme)
SpaceX Falcon 9 test rocket is being prepared for launch from Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida (Reuters / Pierre Ducharme)

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Patterson and Rece, both with CTNewsJunkie.Com, prepare remote camera for launch of SpaceX Falcon 9 test rocket from Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (Reuters / Pierre Ducharme)
Patterson and Rece, both with CTNewsJunkie.Com, prepare remote camera for launch of SpaceX Falcon 9 test rocket from Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (Reuters / Pierre Ducharme)