Possible engine trouble automatically shut down the launch at the last minute early this morning in Florida. "Launch aborted: slightly high combustion chamber pressure on engine 5. Will adjust limits for countdown in a few days," tweeted SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. The Hawthorne company had been planning to dock its Dragon space capsule with the International Space Station. From the WSJ:
Before the pre-dawn launch attempt, officials of SpaceX, as the company is called, predicted somewhat greater than a 50-50 chance of launching. In order to place the Dragon capsule in the correct orbit to be able to link up with the speeding space station orbiting more than 200 miles above the earth, SpaceX must launch precisely at a pre-determined moment. The abort was preceded by a picture perfect countdown until the automated command was issued to ignite the engines. At that point, the rocket's design calls for Falcon 9 to be mechanically held down on the launch pad for an instant, until computers determine that all propulsion and other systems are operating normally.