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SpaceX delays launch of supply run to International Space Station

SpaceX delays launch of supply run to International Space Station
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket stands at the launch complex in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on May 3. (Terry Renna / Associated Press)

A last-minute problem prompted SpaceX to delay a supply run to the International Space Station on Friday.

A Falcon rocket was poised to blast off before dawn with a Dragon cargo capsule, but an electrical problem cropped up with the ocean platform needed to recover the first-stage booster following liftoff.

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SpaceX said it will try again early Saturday morning. The delivery is already running a few days late because of a space station power shortage that stalled deliveries until a failed electrical box could be replaced. NASA completed the job Thursday.

The landing platform was stationed 14 miles offshore. The new booster was originally supposed to return to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for eventual recycling, but SpaceX is still cleaning up from an April 20 accident that destroyed a crew Dragon capsule. The empty capsule was undergoing ground testing when an explosion occurred. The cause is not yet known.

SpaceX said that before Saturday's launch attempt, it will patch a helium leak at the launch pad that also occurred late in the countdown. With only a split second to launch the rocket, there was not enough time to solve any issues.

If the Dragon capsule isn't flying by Saturday, SpaceX will have to wait a week before its next try because of other Air Force operations.

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