| CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., June 23
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., June 23 Bedeviled by a
spate of technical problems, Space Exploration Technologies on
Monday said it will suspend launch attempts of its next Falcon 9
rocket until early July.
The privately owned company, also known as SpaceX, has been
trying since Friday to launch a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on a satellite-delivery
mission for Orbcomm Inc, which provides
machine-to-machine data and messaging services worldwide.
SpaceX had slated its fourth launch attempt for Tuesday.
"SpaceX is taking a closer look at a potential issue
identified while conducting pre-flight checkouts during
(Sunday's) countdown," the company said in statement posted on
its website on Monday.
"SpaceX will stand down Tuesday while our engineering teams
evaluate further," it said.
Taking into account a previously scheduled maintenance
period for the Eastern Test Range, which supports launches from
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the earliest SpaceX expects to
be able to fly is the first week of July.
"We ... will work with the Range to confirm the next
available launch opportunities," the company, which is owned by
technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, said.
A launch attempt on Friday was called off by a potential
technical problem with the rocket's upper-stage engine. No other
information about the issue was provided by SpaceX, though the
glitch apparently was cleared in time for a second launch
attempt on Saturday. That attempt was nixed by poor weather at
the launch site.
SpaceX rescheduled launch for Sunday, but encountered
another technical issue.
The rocket is due to deliver six small communication
satellites into orbits about 500 miles (800 km) above Earth.
SpaceX has flown its Falcon 9 rocket nine times so far, all
(Reporting by Irene Klotz; Editing by Leslie Adler)