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SpaceX delays cargo launch from Cape two weeks

5:03 AM, Mar 14, 2014   |    comments
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket sits on the launchpad
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(FloridaToday.com) - SpaceX has delayed its planned Sunday morning launch of cargo to the International Space Station for at least two weeks, to no earlier than March 30, the company announced Thursday afternoon.

In a brief statement, the company said the extra time would "ensure the highest possible level of mission assurance and allow additional time to resolve remaining open items."

No specific systems were cited as needing additional attention, but both a Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule packed with more than 4,000 pounds of ISS cargo were said to be "in good health."

"Given the critical payloads on board and significant upgrades to Dragon, the additional time will ensure SpaceX does everything possible on the ground to prepare for a successful launch," said spokeswoman Emily Shanklin.

April 2 is the tentative backup launch date for SpaceX's third of 12 resupply missions under a $1.6 billion NASA contract.

The new dates are are not yet approved by the Air Force.

With the slip, a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket becomes the next in line to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, on March 25 with a National Reconnaissance Office satellite.

The launch window that day is 2:05 p.m. to 3:35 p.m. EDT.

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