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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

SpaceX aborts launch to International Space Station after technical problems

• http://www.foxnews.com, Associated Press
 

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.

"... 3-2-1, zero, and liftoff," announced commentator George Diller, his voice trailing as the rocket failed to budge. "We've had a cutoff. Liftoff did not occur."
 
Billionaire rocket designer Elon Musk attributed the problem to slightly high combustion chamber pressure on engine No. 5. "Will adjust limits for countdown in a few days," he wrote via Twitter.



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