Because of an engine issue that caused Falcon 9 launch of a military GPS satellite to abort at T-2 seconds on October 2nd, SpaceX and NASA have decided to delay the next manned Dragon launch from October 31st “to early-to-mid November.”
The one to two week delay will give the company time to analyze the issue involving an “unexpected pressure rise in the turbomachinery gas generator” that are used to drive the rocket’s Merlin engine turbopumps.
It seems unlikely that this problem is systemic to all Merlin engines, considering the number of rocket launches SpaceX has successfully completed in the last four years. Each launch has used ten engines, with no evidence of this problem appearing previously.
At the same time, no one wants a problem on a manned flight. Better to completely understand why it happened on the GPS launch first before launching four astronauts on the rocket.
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