The first SpaceX launch of the year, scheduled to take place at 6:20 a.m. EST on Tuesday morning from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, was aborted because of an issue with the rocket thrusters.
“During the terminal count engineers observed drift on one of the two thrust vector actuators on the second stage that would likely have caused an automatic abort. Engineers called a hold in order to take a closer look,” SpaceX said in a statement.
The next launch possible launch time will be Friday at 5:09 a.m. EST, if the issue is resolved, NASA officials said.
If everything goes according to plan, in addition to running a routine unmanned cargo mission to the International Space Station, the private spaceflight company will also attempt to land the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on a floating barge in the Atlantic Ocean.
The maneuver could pave the way for reusable rocket technology, which SpaceX says is a crucial step in reaching Mars.
Here is the series of meticulously detailed steps that will happen, explained in this SpaceX packet:
- Upon liftoff, a 224-foot-high Falcon 9 rocket will generate 1.3 million pounds of thrust, launching it, and the Dragon spacecraft atop the rocket, into space.
- Exactly 70 seconds after liftoff the rocket and spacecraft will have reached supersonic speeds, 768 miles per hour.
- In another 87 seconds, the launch craft will be traveling 10 times faster and will have reached 50 miles above Earth’s surface.
- Now, the powerful engines that brought the spacecraft this far will shut off, and four seconds later, the rocket will detach from the Dragon spacecraft.
Observers along the eastern US coast will be able to see the rocket’s trail of spent fuel anywhere between a few seconds to a few minutes after takeoff.
The rocket will be relatively low in the sky, near the horizon. To watch, make sure you’re in a place where you can actually see the horizon and that no buildings are blocking your view. According to Space.com:
- If you’re in the southeast, focus on the south-southwest horizon right after liftoff.
- If you’re in the Mid-Atlantic region look to the south about three to six minutes after launch.
- If you’re in the northeast, look for the rocket toward the south-southeast about six to eight minutes after launch.
The Dragon spacecraft, which is filled with — For more information read the original article here.