A SpaceX rocket test launch which was planned to rendezvous with the International Space Station (ISS) suffered what the rocket builders described as a “minor issue” following launch. The SpaceX rocket is in test mode prior to being used on a number of ISS missions, and a growing list of commercial launches for the likes of DTH operators SES, Israel’s Amos, Satmex, and Thaicom of Thailand. SES-8 is due for launch in June.
The problem occurred some 9 minutes into the flight when an issue was detected with the rocket’s oxidation tank pressure. SpaceX’s engineers stated they had corrected the anomaly within a few hours and the rocket continued with its mission to the ISS. However, the problem needed several hours worth of unscheduled manoeuvring and delayed the rocket’s arrival at the Space Station by a day.
SpaceX’s latest cargo mission launched March 1 aboard the company’s Falcon 9 rocket, which lifted off from Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch, Falcon 9’s fifth to orbit, went exactly according to plan, SpaceX said on its website.
The launch, albeit delayed, is crucial to the on-going success of SpaceX, which is backed by Elon Musk the billionaire founder of PayPal. The last launch, back on October 7th, was not successful and end with client Orbcom filing a major insurance claim for a lost satellite.