SpaceX Mission Delayed for Fourth Time after Technical Issues

Jun 24, 2014 11:53 AM EDT | Jordan Ecarma

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SpaceX has delayed the launch of its Falcon 9 rocket until next month.

The mission first scheduled for last week has been bogged down by technical problems; today's scheduled launch would have been the fourth attempt, Reuters reported.

"SpaceX is taking a closer look at a potential issue identified while conducting pre-flight checkouts during (Sunday's) countdown," the company said in a statement posted on its website on June 23. "SpaceX will stand down Tuesday while our engineering teams evaluate further."

The Falcon 9 rocket can't be launched until July at the earliest due to scheduled maintenance on the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Eastern Test Range. The company said on its website that the launch could take place during the first week of July. 

SpaceX has been trying to launch the mission since June 20, an attempt that was called off after a potential technical problem was found in the rocket's upper-stage engine.

After the mission was delayed again two days later, SpaceX issued a statement on its website, saying, "The ... launch attempt has been scrubbed to address a potential concern identified during pre-flight checks.

"The vehicle and payload are in good condition, and engineering teams will take the extra time to ensure the highest possible level of mission assurance prior to flight," the company said.

The space venture headed by Elon Musk of Tesla Motors has successfully flown Falcon 9 nine times so far.

This particular mission will send the rocket back into the air to put six small communication satellites into orbits about 500 miles above Earth.

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