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SpaceX mission to Space Station delayed

Posted by lx_lane@yahoo.co.uk on January 18, 2012 at 4:10 AM

SpaceX has scrubbed the February 7 launch of its Dragon capsule to the International Space Station for unspecified reasons.

A Falcon 9 rocket was due to loft the reusable Dragon capsule into orbit for the first-ever docking of a privately-funded spacecraft with the International Space Station - or any other orbiting vehicle.

SpaceX spokeswoman Kirstin Brost Grantham said: "We believe there are a few areas that will benefit from additional work and will optimize the safety and success of the mission.

"We are now working with NASA to establish a new target launch date, but note that we will continue to test and review data. We will launch when the vehicle is ready.”

The tentative launch date was announced in December, with Dragon expected to perform a series of manouevres near the ISS before attempting to dock.

A successful mission would enable SpaceX to take up a £1billion contract for delivering cargo to the International Space Station.

The resuable capsule would also be able to bring back items from space, which can currently only be achieved by the Russian Soyuz capsules used to ferry astronauts to the ISS.

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