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

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?
How surgery might be making cancer prognoses worse
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
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.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?