SpaceX delays its first liftoff from historic pad

Falcon 9 rocket
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 sits on Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39A. (NASA via YouTube)

SpaceX postponed the first launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center since the last shuttle flight in 2011, due to concerns about a control system on the Falcon 9 rocket’s second stage.

The Falcon 9 had been due to loft a robotic Dragon cargo capsule into orbit from the center’s Launch Pad 39A in Florida, delivering 5,500 pounds worth of supplies and experiments for the International Space Station.

But with less than 20 seconds left in today’s countdown, SpaceX’s mission managers decided they needed more time to work through a nagging technical issue with the controls for the second stage’s rocket engine nozzle..

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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