High Engine Pressure Aborts Space X Launch

By  //  May 19, 2012

Another Launch Try Possible Tuesday

Space X's Falcon 9 rocket carrying he Dragon spacecraft sits on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station seconds before a launch attempt was aborted early Saturday. (Image courtesy of NASA)

BREVARD COUNTY • CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – The historic Space X mission of launching the unmanned Dragon spacecraft on a test flight to the International Space Station was aborted early this morning.

A computer sensor detected an abnormal amount of pressure in engine No. 5 of the Falcon 9’s engines and automatically shut down the launch systems at 4:55 a.m. Saturday.

Preparations for the launch up to that point had run smoothly and the launch countdown ticked down to the point of ignition prior to the abort.

The Falcon rocket appeared to have been in the early stage of firing when shut down and smoke from the engine could be seen across the NASA Causeway from the Launch Pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Following the abort, Space X founder Elon Musk issued a tweet which read, “”Launch aborted: slightly high combustion chamber pressure on engine 5. Will adjust limits for countdown in a few days.”

If Space X is able to rectify the engine pressure problem detected on the Falcon 9 in time, the commercial space company will attempt to launch again at 3:44 a.m. Tuesday.