NASA Commercial Unmanned Cargo Vehicle Launch Delayed

Site: NASA.gov

Plans to launch the first commercially-developed unmanned space vehicle for carrying cargo have been delayed, Wired reports.

NASA contracted Hawthorne, Calif.-based Space Exploration Technologies to build the Dragon spacecraft on a $1.6 billion deal.

SpaceX and NASA met in early April to discuss whether the unmanned craft, software and all, was ready to launch on April 30. 

The launch was moved as a result of issues with the spacecraft’s software that would be used to control the automated spacecraft.  

During the practice countdown, the associated rockets had to be reset with less than a minute left on the countdown clock. 

SpaceX and NASA will work to ready the commercial craft’s software and hardware for launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla., although Wired reports a new launch date has not been set. 

The space station’s orbit may not permit the Dragon launch until May 10 or later depending on several other rocket launch schedules. 

Once functional, the craft will make a specific track around the International Space Station with its automated systems.

The space station will then direct the craft on whether it is safe to approach or leave, Wired reports. 

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