SpaceX rocket on track despite glitches

2012-10-09 16:23
The Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket lifts off from space launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida. (Terry Renna, AP)

The Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket lifts off from space launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida. (Terry Renna, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - A private rocket successfully sent a capsule full of cargo zipping toward the International Space Station in a first of its kind delivery for Nasa, but couldn't deliver on job No 2: putting a commercial satellite into the correct orbit.

One of nine engines on Space X company's Falcon 9 rocket failed on Sunday 79 seconds after launch because of a pressure loss. The engine didn't explode, but it did start a series of events that meant another company's private satellite is not in the place it is needed.

The main mission for the Falcon launch - delivering half a ton of science and food supplies toward the space station - is still on track with a docking of the cargo-laden Dragon capsule scheduled for Wednesday.

SpaceX on Monday said the ship's flight computer calculated a new path to the station for the capsule. It is the first of a dozen supply runs under a mega-contract with Nasa.

Design


"Falcon 9 did exactly what it was designed to do," the California based SpaceX said. "Like the Saturn V, which experienced engine loss on two flights, Falcon 9 is designed to handle an engine out situation and still complete its mission."

But not for its entire mission.

The original plan was for Falcon to fire its second stage engines after Dragon left and then deploy an industrial communications satellite into orbit for Orbcomm of Dulles, Virginia.

Because this is a new resupply ship for the space station, Nasa and its international partners had set detailed safety rules in advance for Falcon, even though the engine failure was far from the station. And those rules prevent SpaceX from firing its second stage engines, Orbcomm said in a statement.

Boosting satellite


The satellite is in a lower orbit and engineers are trying to figure out how to boost it, Orbcomm said.

This was the first of 18 satellites that Orbcomm had hired SpaceX to deliver. The satellites help in two-way communications for companies to track their heavy equipment across the world.

The company wouldn't respond to questions about the cost of the satellite or launch services.

Harvard University astronomer Jonathan McDowell, who tracks launches worldwide, noticed the problem for hours before either company acknowledged that the satellite was in the wrong orbit. Even though SpaceX was congratulating itself after the launch, McDowell said: "We can't say that it was a perfect launch."

- AP

NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Monday Kuils River - 17:34 PM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit
  • Sunday Parow - 08:10 AM
    Road name: Mike Pienaar Boulevard
    WEEKENDS - ROAD CLOSED between Voortrekker Road and Tienie Meyer Drive due to roadworks (until end July)
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9790

Bold Design The BlackBerry Bold 9790 smartphone combines the iconic BlackBerry...

From R2979.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may come up to alert you of your security needs. It may be that you need to create a better structure for your finances...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.