San Francisco, October 29
Elon Musk-run SpaceX is replacing two engines on its Falcon 9 rocket which is scheduled to launch four space travellers to the International Space Station on November 14.
The requirement of replacing the engines became apparent after an investigation into the aberrant behaviour of the Falcon 9 rocket observed during a recent non-NASA mission launch attempt, Space.com reported on Wednesday.
The non-NASA mission referred to the launch attempt of a GPS satellite for the US Space Force on October 2 which was aborted automatically moments before the lit off.
This led NASA and SpaceX to delay the launch of Crew-1 mission — which is also scheduled to launch on a Falcon 9 rocket — which was originally scheduled for launch on October 31.
NASA is now targeting November 14 for the launch of the SpaceX Crew-1 mission which will launch the agency’s astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, along with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) mission specialist Soichi Noguchi, from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center.
The investigation of the October 2 non-NASA mission launch attempt traced the problem to two of the nine Merlin engines on the Falcon 9’s first stage.
SpaceX detected signs of a similar issue with two of the engines in the Crew-1 Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage, said the report. — IANS