SpaceX Scrubs CRS-3 Launch Due to Helium Leak
At 3:39 pm EDT, SpaceX's launch director stated that the planned 4:58 pm launch of CRS-3, the company's third operational cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS), was scrubbed for the day. The next launch opportunity is Friday, but the weather forecast is iffy that day.
As many people tuned in to NASA TV at 3:45 pm EDT to listen to live launch coverage, the NASA announcer said that launch had just been scrubbed and replayed the SpaceX announcement from minutes earlier. The speaker identifies himself as the LD -- launch director -- and says "We have encountered an issue that will result in our scrubbing today's 4/14 launch attempt."
SpaceX soon posted a message on its website stating that the problem is a helium leak on the Falcon 9's first stage.
NASA and SpaceX earlier had stated that if the launch did not go today, the next opportunity is Friday, but an Air Force weather officer at a pre-launch briefing yesterday said the weather was only 40 percent favorable on Friday.
SpaceX says on its website that it will fix the helium leak by then, but acknowledges the poor forecast.
The launch window on Friday, April 18, opens at 3:25 pm ET.
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