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SpaceX has to scrub supply mission to ISS

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SpaceX’s mission to resupply the International Space Station (ISS) was aborted Jan. 6 when a problem with the Falcon 9’s second stage rocket was identified during the launch countdown.

SpaceX has to scrub supply mission to ISS

SpaceX’s mission to resupply the International Space Station (ISS) was aborted Jan. 6 when a problem with the Falcon 9’s second stage rocket was identified during the launch countdown.

“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,” said SpaceX spokesman John Taylor.

Taylor said the thrust vector control actuators are used to steer the rocket in flight. The second stage delivers the payload.

SpaceX and NASA say the next launch window will occur on Jan. 9 for a launch if second stage issues have been resolved.

SpaceX plans to pioneer a reusable first stage rocket that could alter the economics of space flight.

"A fully and rapidly reusable rocket -- which has never been done before -- is the pivotal breakthrough needed to substantially reduce the cost of space access," said Taylor.

When launched, the Falcon 9 rocket will carry a Dragon cargo ship loaded with more than 5,200 pounds of supplies for the ISS.

SpaceX will also attempt to land the first stage rocket on an offshore barge upon reentry.

“The main mission is absolutely to get cargo to the station and make sure the station’s supply chain is steady and stable and reliable,” said Hans Koenigsmann, vice president of mission assurance for SpaceX.

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