SpaceX Forced to Postpone Rocket Landing Test, Dragon Launch Due to Bad Weather

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket stands poised to launch a Dragon spacecraft from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on April 13, 2015 on a mission to deliver NASA cargo to the International Space Station. It is SpaceX's sixth cargo mission for NASA. (PHOTO CREDIT: NASA TV)
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket stands poised to launch a Dragon spacecraft from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on April 13, 2015 on a mission to deliver NASA cargo to the International Space Station. It is SpaceX’s sixth cargo mission for NASA. (PHOTO CREDIT: NASA TV)

Bad weather forced private spaceflight company SpaceX to postpone a daring reusable rocket landing test on Monday (April 13) by at least 24 hours, a delay that also pushed back the delivery of fresh cargo to the International Space Station for NASA.

SpaceX was scheduled to launch a Dragon cargo capsule Monday at 4:33 p.m. EDT (2033 GMT) from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station atop the company’s Falcon 9 rocket, whose first stage would then return to Earth and try to land on the company’s “spaceport drone ship” in the Atlantic Ocean.

But a thunderstorm veered too close to the launch site, forcing mission controllers to scrub the liftoff attempt with less than three minutes to go in the countdown. “Launch postponed due to lightning from an approaching anvil cloud,” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wrote in a Twitter post after the launch delay.

SpaceX will try again Tuesday (April 14) at 4:10 p.m. EDT (2010 GMT). You can watch the SpaceX launch on Space.com, courtesy of webcasts from NASA and SpaceX, beginning at 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT).

There is a 50 percent chance of good weather for the Tuesday attempt, NASA officials said.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Space.com, Mike Wall

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