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Helium leak delays SpaceX launch
Posted: Mon, Apr 14, 2014, 7:10 PM ET (2310 GMT)
Falcon 9 on pad before 2014 Apr 14 CRS-3 launch attempt (SpaceX) A helium leak in the first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket will delay the launch of a Dragon cargo spacecraft until at least Friday. NASA announced the scrub a little more than an hour before the scheduled 4:58 pm EDT (2058 GMT) liftoff time of the Falcon 9 v1.1. SpaceX and NASA later reported the scrub was caused by a leak on a helium pressurization system in the rocket's first stage, which should be fixed by the time the next launch window opens at 3:25 pm EDT (1925 GMT) Friday. However, initial forecasts are less promising for the the launch, with only a 40% chance of acceptable weather then. The Falcon 9 is slated to launch a Dragon spacecraft on the third of twelve commercial resupply missions to the International Space Station, delivering new experiments and supplies for the station. NASA station managers approved plans to launch yesterday despite the failure of a backup computer mounted on the station's exterior; managers concluded there was sufficient redundancy in other station systems to allow the launch to proceed.
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