A SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle experienced trouble with a single actuator as it prepared to leave Cape Canaveral, Fla., forcing the launch to be postponed, reported NBC News. With less than a minute and a half remaining in the countdown, “engineers observed drift on one of the two thrust vector actuators on the second stage that would likely have caused an automatic abort,” SpaceX spokesman John Taylor said in a statement. The Dragon capsule aboard the unmanned Falcon rocket contains more than 5,000 pounds of supplies intended for the International Space Station, reported MSN via the Associated Press. SpaceX plans to make a historic two-part landing in which the first stage would return to a platform in the Atlantic Ocean. If the rocket recovery experiment is successful it could lead to reusable launch vehicles, significantly driving down the cost of space launches. SpaceX head Elon Musk said via twitter the next launch attempt will be Friday around 5 a.m.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.