SpaceX Replacing Two Engines On Its Falcon 9 Rocket Ahead Of Next Crewed Mission To International Space Station


Oct 29, 2020, 01:56 PM | Updated 01:56 PM IST

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 takes off. (Twitter/@SpaceX)
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 takes off. (Twitter/@SpaceX)

Elon Musk-run SpaceX is replacing two engines on its Falcon 9 rocket which is scheduled to launch four space travellers to the International Space Station on 14 November.

The requirement of replacing the engines became apparent after an investigation into the aberrant behaviour of the Falcon 9 rocket observed during a recent non-NASA mission launch attempt, reported on Wednesday (28 October).

The non-NASA mission referred to the launch attempt of a GPS satellite for the US Space Force on 2 October which was aborted automatically moments before the lit off.

This led NASA and SpaceX to delay the launch of Crew-1 mission - which is also scheduled to launch on a Falcon 9 rocket -- which was originally scheduled for launch on 31 October.

NASA is now targeting 14 November for the launch of the SpaceX Crew-1 mission which will launch the agency's astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, along with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) mission specialist Soichi Noguchi, from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center.

The investigation of the 2 October non-NASA mission launch attempt traced the problem to two of the nine Merlin engines on the Falcon 9's first stage.

SpaceX detected signs of a similar issue with two of the engines in the Crew-1 Falcon 9 rocket's first stage, said the report.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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