SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch called off again
Unexplained technical issues caused the rocket launch to be canceled for a second time in one week.
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket was slated to hurtle into outer space on Monday, but unusual pressure readings canceled the launch. Then, Falcon 9 was scheduled to have a famed Thanksgiving Day liftoff; but, once again, the flight was nixed -- this time due to unexplained technical issues.
It's been a tough week for SpaceX, but that hasn't deterred the company from working to get its rocket aloft. SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk took to Twitter after the second canceled launch on Thursday to say that the company was playing it safe.
"We called manual abort. Better to be paranoid and wrong. Bringing rocket down to borescope engines," Musk tweeted.
We called manual abort. Better to be paranoid and wrong. Bringing rocket down to borescope engines ...— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 28, 2013
The Falcon 9 is SpaceX's most powerful rocket. The nine-engine, 224-foot-tall rocket features a longer first stage and triple redundant flight computers.
This week, the rocket was scheduled to blast off from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and carry a SES-8 communications satellite for placement in orbit. While SpaceX has launched satellites before, this would have been the first time it launched a commercial communications satellite.
"This launch is obviously very important to the future of SpaceX," Musk told reporters at a prelaunch reception on Sunday, according to USA Today. "We're very appreciative that SES would place a bet on SpaceX here."
In September, an upgraded Falcon 9 rocketinto orbit.
Ever since NASA retired its space shuttle program in 2011, private companies like SpaceX,, and Boeing have been competing for contracts that would allow them to fly astronauts to the International Space Station.
NASA has awarded SpaceX $1.6 billion to provide 12 cargo flights to deliver equipment and supplies to the International Space Station. SpaceX is also gearing up to one day provide commercial flights into space.