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SpaceX Delays Next Dragon Cargo Launch to May 1



SpaceX has pushed back the launch of a Dragon cargo mission for NASA this week by 24 hours, with the liftoff now targeted for Wednesday (May 1).

The uncrewed dragon resupply ship will now launch to the International Space Station Wednesday at 3:59 am. EDT (0759 GMT) from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, according to SpaceX and NASA. SpaceX test-fired the Falcon 9 rocket that will launch the mission on Saturday (April 27th).

Static fire test of Falcon 9 completed – targeting May 1 launch from Pad 40 in Florida for Dragon's seventeenth mission to the @Space_Station, SpaceX representatives said in a Twitter update on the mission.

Related: How SpaceX's Dragon Space Capsule Works (Infographic)

The one-day launch slip follows a four-day delay of the mission (it was originally scheduled to launch April 26) by NASA and SpaceX due to station and orbital mechanics constraints, NASA officials said at the time.

SpaceX representatives said the company would use these four extra days for launch vehicle inspections and the Falcon 9 static fire test, which briefed the booster's first-stage engines. Static fire tests are a standard SpaceX activity before every launch.

The upcoming Dragon cargo mission will be SpaceX's 17th delivery flight for NASA. The spacecraft will deliver more than 5,500 lbs.

SpaceX also has a contract to fly astronaut to the NASA station using the company's new Crew Dragon spacecraft, which made its first uncrewed test flight in March. An in-flight abort system test for Crew Dragon is expected later this year, followed by a crewed test flight by NASA's astronaut.

But before SpaceX can proceed with the in-flight abort test, the company must complete its investigation into April 20 anomaly during a Crew Dragon abort system test. That anomaly occurred as SpaceX was testing the Crew Dragon's eight SuperDraco abort engines on a test stand at Landing Zone 1, one of the company's two rocket landing pads at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Meanwhile, SpaceX is also gearing up for another big mission: the next launch of its massive Falcon Heavy megarocket.

Last week, SpaceX successfully tested the center stage of the Falcon Heavy, which will be used to launch the Space Test Program-2 mission for the U.S. Air force That mission will include a host of different payloads for the U.S. Air Force, NASA, Planetary Society and other customers.

Email Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com or follow him @tariqjmalik . Follow us @Spacedotcom and Facebook .


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