SpaceX has delayed an important engine test on the launch pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC), just one week before the rocket is due to launch the first commercial capsule to the International Space Station (ISS) on 7 May. The countdown clock was stopped with 47s before ignition before the clock reset to 13min. SpaceX, which is livetweeting the event, released a cryptic message, reading, "Launch team reviewing data." The company was not immediately available for further comment.

While the reason for the countdown suspension remains unclear, flight controllers were heard discussing 'transients.'

"There was a limit that was incorrectly set," a flight engineer was heard to say. According to a tweet from SpaceX executive officer Elon Musk, "Flight computer aborted rocket hold down firing. Anomaly addressed. Cycling systems to countdown"

Shortly thereafter the countdown was resumed and the engine fired for 2s. SpaceX and NASA engineers will review the data, but the Falcon 9 appears to have successfully passed one of the final, major hurdles to launch. "So far things look good," says SpaceX. "Engines fired for 2 seconds, as scheduled. Engineers will now review data as we continue preparations for the upcoming launch."

"Woohoo," tweeted Musk. "Rocket hold down firing completed and all looks good!!"

 SpaceX Merlin 1D SpaceX

 A previous Merlin engine test fire ©SpaceX 

Source: Flight International