SpaceX, the space exploration technology company, has delayed the launch of its next Dragon cargo ship for at least four days because the second stage of its Falcon 9 rocket needs to be replaced,media reported. SpaceX is reported to have originally planned to launch the Dragon cargo ship from Florida’s Space Coast on March 2 to carry out a resupply mission to the International Space Station.
Now that an electric valve in the second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket is not functioning properly, the company plans to replace the second stage of the rocket and postpone the launch until March 6 local time. The launch is scheduled to take off from Space 40 launch site at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 11:50 p.m. EST on March 6.
“In carrying out the standard pre-launch inspection procedures, SpaceX found that the electric valves in the rocket’s second-stage engine were not operating as well, and that the safest and most convenient way was to replace the rocket’s second stage at Cape Canaveral. “The newly replaced second stage has completed the same pre-launch inspection and all hardware is functioning properly,” NASA officials said Tuesday local time. “
The Dragon cargo ship carried more than 2,540 kilograms of scientific equipment, food and other supplies to resupply three astronauts on expedition 62 on the International Space Station. NASA officials said the spacecraft was loaded with equipment for a variety of space experiments, “including particle foam manufacturing, water droplet formation, human gut and other cutting-edge research.”
The mission, called crS-20, is SpaceX’s 20th cargo service for NASA. It is part of a multibillion-dollar deal with NASA and part of the latter’s commercial resupply service program.