SpaceX Set For Launch Tuesday Morning

SpaceX was planning on launching the first commercial flight to the International Space Station last weekend but an engine problem forced the company to abort the mission. Engineers have fixed the problem on the Falcon 9 rocket and the launch has been rescheduled for early tomorrow morning.

SpaceX said in a statement:

“During rigorous inspections of the engine, SpaceX engineers discovered a faulty check valve on the Merlin engine… The failed valve was replaced on Saturday and after thorough analysis the vehicle has been cleared for launch.”

CNet reports that there’s an 80% chance of good weather tomorrow morning so SpaceX has a good chance of becoming the first company to complete a commercial flight to the International Space Station. The historic launch is scheduled for 3:44:38 a.m. EDT.

Mike Horkachuck, NASA project executive for SpaceX, said:

“Since then they replaced that check valve with a new unit and have tested all the other engines for similar problems and believe they are good to go… This is a fairly challenging mission… We’ve done a lot of work with SpaceX and our mission ops teams are both coordinating very well and we believe we’ve got a good chance of meeting all those objectives with this flight.”

If bad weather, mechanical failure, or any other problems cause SpaceX to abandon tomorrow’s launch, the company will try again on Friday.

MSNBC reports that SpaceX has a $1.6 billion contract to make 12 deliveries to the International Space Station. Tomorrow’s mission will see the Dragon Capsule deliver 1,000 pounds of food and equipment before returning to earth.

SpaceX said in a statement:

“Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) will attempt to launch a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon spacecraft to orbit in an exciting start to the mission that will make SpaceX the first commercial company in history to try to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station.”

Do you think SpaceX will successfully launch tomorrow morning?