Saturday, May 19, 2012

SpaceX almost makes it

SpaceX's Falcon 9, the first private rocket slated to take supplies to the ISS, has been delayed several times, mostly by software issues. Elon Musk and his people wanted to leave nothing to chance, to make sure failure was not an option. 
They haven't failed, but they must feel a bit snake-bit after getting to within one-half of a second of launch before a sensor in one of nine first-stage engines reported an overpressure. The rocket was shut down.  It will be May 22 before they can try again.  (The Falcon 9 was designed to survive the loss of an engine - engine-out capability is one of its selling points - but this is an important flight and there was no wish to take risks. Also, an engine pressure being too high is particularly worrisome - if the engine actually explodes, shrapnel can take out other engines.)
So to  Elon and Gwynn and the rest of the gang- hang in there.  Make it work.  I think you will. 

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