The Falcon 9 rocket by private space contractor SpaceX launched successfully at 10:10 a.m. EST Friday on a NASA resupply mission to the International Space Station.
Twelve minutes into the mission, however, after the rocket had successfully carried the Dragon Capsule and its cargo into orbit, there was a malfunction in the craft's thrusters. At this point the SpaceX live web feed shut down and founder and CEO Elon Musk began tweeting updates.
Issue with Dragon thruster pods. System inhibiting three of four from initializing. About to command inhibit override.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 1, 2013
Holding on solar array deployment until at least two thruster pods are active— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 1, 2013
Thruster pod 3 tank pressure trending positive. Preparing to deploy solar arrays.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 1, 2013
Attempting bring up of thruster pods 2 and 4— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 1, 2013
A news conference is expected later today with more information. Both previous SpaceX flights, in May and October last year, experienced glitches. In October a Falcon 9 engine shut down led to a satellite being deployed to improper orbit.