SpaceX Delays First Private Launch to Space Station
|1:09:34 AM, Wednesday, April 25, 2012|
(phys.org, April 24, 2012) SpaceX has postponed by a week its bid to become the first private company to attempt to launch an unmanned cargo vessel to the International Space Station.
"After reviewing our recent progress, it was clear that we needed more time to finish hardware-in-the-loop testing and properly review and follow up on all data," SpaceX spokeswoman Kirstin Brost Grantham said late Monday.
"While it is still possible that we could launch on May 3rd, it would be wise to add a few more days of margin in case things take longer than expected.
"As a result, our launch is likely to be pushed back by one week, pending coordination with NASA," she said in a statement, adding that the company would announce the new target date once it was determined.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced the decision via Twitter, writing: "Am pushing launch back approx a week to do more testing on Dragon docking code. New date pending coordination with NASA."
Last Monday NASA said there was a good chance SpaceX would soon become the first private company to attempt to launch its spacecraft to the ISS on an unmanned cargo flight.
SpaceX aims to carry out a fly-by of the ISS and a berthing operation in which the reusable spacecraft, the Dragon, will approach the ISS as the crew aboard the orbiting outpost uses a robotic arm to dock it