Feeds

Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run

Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Elon Musk's rocketeers at SpaceX have called off Monday's launch of their CRS-3 resupply mission to the International Space Station after a problem with its main Falcon rocket.

"Today's launch has been scrubbed due to a Helium leak on Falcon 9's first stage. A fix will be implemented by the next launch opportunity on Friday April 18, though weather on that date isn't ideal," the company said in a statement.

SpaceX's third resupply mission had been scheduled to take off at on Monday at 4:58pm EDT (9:58pm UTC), and carry nearly 5,000 pounds of hardware and supplies up to the astronauts on the ISS. The payload included new science experiments, some vital supplies for the astronauts, and a pair of legs for Robonaut 2, the robotic crewmate aboard the space station.

Chief among these is a new space suit to allow the astronauts to get outside the space station and make repairs, as well as several spare parts to repair the other suits on board. NASA said that the parts include fan units to maintain temperature and humidity while in the inimical environment in space.

But the delay isn't just a problem for the astronauts, but for SpaceX itself, since the rocket launch was also going to be used to test the ability of the company to reuse its rockets. After the launch the first stage Falcon rocket was scheduled to detach and perform another burn to slow down again.

Once the rocket had slowed sufficiently it would fall back to Earth. The SpaceX team then planned to fire up its motors for a controlled descent, bringing the rocket into a hover at sea level over the ocean, before letting it splash down and sink – although a ground landing is planned later once this booster had proved the concept safely.

All of this is now on hold until the next launch window this Thursday. NASA, SpaceX, and orbital enthusiasts will all be crossing their fingers. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue
This tiny bio-bot will chew through your clothes then save your life
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.