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Tue, Apr 24, 2012

SpaceX Pushes Back Launch Date

Says More Time Required To Finish Hardware Testing, Data Review

SpaceX said Monday in an e-mail that it has decided to delay it's COTS 2 launch, citing technical difficulties.

"After reviewing our recent progress, it was clear that we needed more time to finish hardware-in-the-loop testing and properly review and follow up on all data." the e-mail stated. "While it is still possible that we could launch on May 3rd, it would be wise to add a few more days of margin in case things take longer than expected. As a result, our launch is likely to be pushed back by one week, pending coordination with NASA."

No new target date has been set for the launch attempt.

The launch window had been a single instantaneous opportunity at 1222 EDT April 30th.

The planned misson calls for SpaceX's Dragon capsule will conduct a series of check-out procedures to test and prove its systems, including rendezvous and berthing with the International Space Station (ISS). The primary objectives for the flight include a flyby of the ISS at a distance of approximately 1.5 miles to validate the operation of sensors and flight systems necessary for a safe rendezvous and approach. The spacecraft also will demonstrate the ability to abort the rendezvous. After these capabilities are successfully proven, the Dragon will be cleared to berth with the ISS approximately four days after launch. (Top photo ANN staff. Bottom image provided by SpaceX)



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