UPDATE: Following a 2:45 PM EDT liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9 rocket reached orbit with a prototype of the Dragon space capsule onboard.
WASHINGTON —The long-awaited first attempt to launch the Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) Falcon 9 was aborted June 4 at the last second, prompting a scramble to reset the rocket and the range for a second try before the launch window closes at 3:00 PM EDT.
A SpaceX launch commentator attributed the abort, which occurred at approximately 1:30 PM, to an “out of limit start up parameter.”
Prior to the abort, the launch countdown was stuck at T-15 minutes for about two hours while the flight team and range safety officials evaluated a low signal reading from one of the antennas on the rocket’s flight termination system. Boats straying into the keep out zone surrounding Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., presented another nuisance to be dealt with prior to resuming the first count down around 1:15 PM.
A second attempt is targeted for 2:45 PM EDT. SpaceX has the range reserved June 5 for a new four-hour window that opens at 11:00 AM.