By Irene Klotz
Oct 9, 2012
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Oct 9 – A prototype communications satellite flying as a secondary payload aboard a Space Exploration Technologies Falcon 9 rocket was sent into the wrong orbit because of a problem during launch Sunday evening, officials said Tuesday.
One of the nine Merlin engines powering the Falcon 9 rocket shut down early, though the other engines burned longer to make up for the loss of thrust, saving the primary mission of delivering a Dragon cargo capsule to the International Space Station for NASA.
The rocket blasted off at 8:35 p.m. EDT Sunday (0035 GMT Monday) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, restoring a U.S. supply line to the $100 billion orbital outpost, a project of 15 nations, following the end of the shuttle program last year.
The Dragon freighter is due to arrive at the space station, which flies about 250 miles above Earth, on Wednesday.
Read more at Reuters…