Originally set to launch on May 28, the privately built Falcon 9 rocket will take flight no earlier than June 2, SpaceX officials said.
The inaugural test launch of a new commercial rocket has slipped from May 28 to no earlier than June 2, according to its builder Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX).
The first Falcon 9 rocket, assembled on the SpaceX launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, is awaiting U.S. Air Force approval of its flight termination system, an explosive charge designed to destroy the rocket if it veers off course during launch.
"Looks like the delay of the [Air Force Delta 4] GPS satellite launch has taken up a lot of resources at the Cape and in turn pushed the first test launch of Falcon 9 from May 28/29 to no earlier than June 2/3," SpaceX spokeswoman Emily Shanklin said in an e-mail sent to reporters late Tuesday.
The Air Force has been trying to launch the new GPS satellite since last week. But weather and technical delays have prevented the satellite's Delta 4 rocket from launching from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. They also forced the Air Force to wait until after NASA's space shuttle Atlantis landed today to try again.
The Delta 4 rocket is currently slated to make another launch attempt late Thursday, May 27.