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SpaceX stops rocket launch from Nasa's historic moon pad 13 seconds before take-off

SpaceX stops rocket launch from Nasa's historic moon pad 13 seconds before take-off

SpaceX has delayed lift-off for its first launch from Nasa’s moon pad with just 13 seconds remaining on the rocket’s countdown.

The company said it will attempt the launch again on Sunday morning.

The unmanned Falcon rocket will stay at the Kennedy Space Centre launch pad until the issues can be ironed out.

The problem seemed to be down to the second-stage thrust control and had actually appeared several minutes before the countdown was stopped.

Flight controllers could not resolve the issue in time though, so had to call off the flight.

Thousands of people had turned up to watch, only to be disappointed by the call of “hold, hold, hold!” by a launch controller over a radio.

The launch pad in Florida, called 39A, is the one the Americans used on the first mission to the moon, and was last used in 2011.

The company also experienced trouble at a neighbouring launch pad last summer when its rocket exploded during a pre-launch test.

After the latest incident SpaceX’s CEO, Elon Musk, showed his trademark optimism despite the continuing issues.

From his tweets, you’d hardly know anything had gone wrong.

But he reiterated that it would be better to wait a day.

If successfully launched, Falcon will go to the International Space Station (ISS) to deliver supplies.

But if there isn’t a turnaround by Sunday, Musk’s project will be beaten to the ISS by a Russian delivery rocket, which is launching on Wednesday.