SpaceX hits snag; Dragon capsule won't dock with space station on schedule

Published On: Mar 11 2013 11:24:35 AM EDT
Updated On: Mar 01 2013 02:34:40 PM EST

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -

Flight controllers said they were making good progress fixing a problem with the orbiting Dragon capsule launched by private company SpaceX, but the spacecraft will not dock with the space station on Saturday.

[PHOTOS:  SpaceX launches rocket to space station]

NASA's Mission Control informed the crew aboard the International Space Station on Friday of the delay.

"(SpaceX is) making progress recovering their prop system, but it's not going to be in time to support the rendezvous and capture for (Saturday)," NASA's spacecraft communicator said.

Trouble with the spacecraft's thrusters cropped up shortly after the Friday morning liftoff from Cape Canaveral.

Flight controllers for the private SpaceX company have partly resolved the problem.

The unmanned capsule is loaded with supplies and experiments for the International Space Station.

The company's billionaire founder Elon Musk reported via Twitter after the launch that the two solar panels had been deployed. The operation was delayed nearly two hours because of the glitch.

The launch of the SpaceX Falcon rocket went well. But nine minutes into the flight, only one of four sets of maneuvering thrusters were working. Flight controllers are trying to override the system.

Standing 157 feet tall, the powerful Falcon 9 blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 10:10 a.m.

The mission is SpaceX's second of 12 cargo delivery missions to the ISS under a NASA contract valued at $1.6 billion. 

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