SpaceX Rocket Suffers Glitch After Launch

Flight controllers of private firm trying to correct

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Mar 1, 2013 9:55 AM CST | Updated Mar 1, 2013 10:57 AM CST

(Newser) – A commercial vessel carrying a ton of supplies for the International Space Station ran into trouble shortly after liftoff today. SpaceX's billionaire founder Elon Musk reported a problem with the thrusters on the unmanned spacecraft, named Dragon. Three of the four sets of thrusters did not kick in, he said via Twitter, and flight controllers for the company were trying to override the system. The problem cropped up immediately following Dragon's separation from the rocket upper stage, nine minutes into the flight. The launch itself appeared to go flawlessly.

NASA flight controllers in Houston offered help as they monitored space station operations. More than 1 ton of space station supplies is aboard the Dragon, including some much-needed equipment for air purifiers. The capsule is supposed to arrive at the space station tomorrow morning. This is the first major trouble to strike a Dragon in orbit. Two previous capsules, launched last year, had no problem getting to the space station.

The Dragon spacecraft is seen inside a processing hangar at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla. last month, after teams installed the spacecraft's solar array fairings.
The Dragon spacecraft is seen inside a processing hangar at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla. last month, after teams installed the spacecraft's solar array fairings.   (Kim Shiflett)
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with it's Dragon spacecraft onboard, is seen shortly after it was erected at Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida today.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with it's Dragon spacecraft onboard, is seen shortly after it was erected at Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida today.   (Bill Ingalls/NASA)
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