SpaceX postpones rocket launch for second time

SpaceX Falcon rocket launch called off again, second delay in as many days

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A remodeled version of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket rests on its pad as it is prepared for launch at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on the launcher's first mission since a June failure in Cape Canaveral, Florida on December 20, 2015.

Just minutes before liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida, SpaceX on Thursday scrubbed the launch of its Falcon 9 rocket to propel a communications satellite into orbit, its second delay in as many days.

The reason for the postponement was not immediately given. Technicians suddenly called, "Hold, hold, hold," about two minutes before the launch window opened at 6:47 pm (2347 GMT).

"We are going to be scrubbing the launch for this evening," said a spokesman on SpaceX's live webcast, moments later.

Another launch date has not yet been set, he said.

After the launch, the company intends to try an ocean landing of the rocket's first stage, but has warned the touchdown was not expected to succeed.

Headed by Internet entrepreneur Elon Musk, who also runs Tesla Motors, the company is working to hone the techniques of recycling rockets, instead of jettisoning their costly components after each launch.

The aim is to make launches more affordable and environmentally friendly.

The launch is commissioned by SES, a Luxembourg-based company that specializes in worldwide satellite communications.

The goal of the mission is to propel a Boeing-built SES-9 satellite -- delivering television and high-speed broadband to the Asia-Pacific region -- to a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) far above the equator.