CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – A new private rocket bound for the International Space Station roared to life for a history-making liftoff Saturday, but remained stuck on the ground following a last-second abort.
The countdown reached all the way to practically zero Saturday morning for the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The engine ignition sequence started up, but there was an automatic shutdown by on-board computers. So instead of blasting off on a delivery mission to the space station, the rocket stayed on its launch pad amid a cloud of engine exhaust.
Even NASA's most seasoned launch commentator was taken off guard.