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Tech

Rocket Launch Aborted At Last Second

photo of Barrett Holmes  Pitner
May 19, 2012

The launch of a privately owned Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station was delayed on Saturday after a computer detected a possible engine problem with one of the rocket's engines, a Space Exploration Technologies official said, according to Reuters.

Preparations for the launch had proceeded smoothly until 4:55 a.m. when the computer aborted the launch only 0.5 seconds before liftoff.

"Liftoff … we've had a cutoff. Liftoff did not occur, said NASA launch commentator George Diller.

 

SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell explained the situation to reporters.

"Just like a pilot at the end of a runway revs the engines and looks at the gauges. We were revving the engines, we were looking at the gauges and we decided not to fly," said Shotwell. 

The company's next launch opportunity is 3:44 a.m. EDT on Tuesday.

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