SpaceX delays launch, ocean-landing try due to technical issue

By REUTERS
February 25, 2016 05:10

 
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 SpaceX on Wednesday postponed for at least 24 hours the scheduled Florida launch of a Falcon 9 rocket on a satellite-delivery mission and attempted return-landing at sea to allow extra time to chill the rocket's propellant, the company said.

Blast-off of the 23-story-tall booster and its payload, a SES SA communications satellite, was rescheduled for 6:46 p.m. EST (2346 GMT) on Thursday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, SpaceX said.

"Rocket and spacecraft remain healthy," the company said in a message posted on Twitter as the delay was announced. Hours earlier SpaceX had described weather conditions at the launch site as a "60 percent go" and said it was tracking thick clouds and high winds.

Following the delay, the company issued a further statement explaining: "The team opted to hold launch to ensure liquid oxygen temperatures are as cold as possible in an effort to maximize performance of the vehicle."

The statement left unclear how much, if any, weather was a factor in the postponement.

Meteorologists forecast an 80 percent chance that weather would be suitable for liftoff on Thursday.

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