Science Now

SpaceX postpones satellite launch

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The SpaceX company has called off Sunday's launch of a deep-space observatory.

The countdown was halted at the two-and-a-half-minute mark at Cape Canaveral because of a problem with a rocket-tracking system. At the same time, SpaceX was dealing with a rocket issue.

SpaceX had been aiming for a launch and landing within minutes of each other. The next try could come as early as Monday.

The company's main objective is to launch the government's Deep Space Climate Observatory to monitor solar outbursts. The spacecraft is refashioned from the Earth-gazing satellite conceived in the late 1990s by then Vice President Al Gore. Gore was on hand for the launch attempt and said he was grateful to all those who kept his dream alive.

A secondary goal is to attempt a landing of the leftover booster on an ocean platform. Last month's effort failed.

 

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