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Clouds, thunderstorms and lightning anticipated Friday evening could make it difficult for SpaceX to launch a group of commercial satellites from Cape Canaveral. / CRAIG BAILEY/FLORIDA TODAY

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- SpaceX is evaluating the timing of its next launch attempt after a rocket issue scrubbed Friday's try from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The launch could come as soon as 5:46 p.m. Saturday, when forecasters expect a 60 percent chance of favorable weather.

Concerns about pressures in the Falcon 9 rocket's upper stage propellant tanks prevented a liftoff on Friday.

Launch managers pushed the targeted liftoff from the window's opening at 6:08 p.m. to its end at 7:01 p.m., but ran out of time to resolve the problem.

The countdown was halted with under eight minutes to go.

It was not immediately clear if the problem was with equipment on the rocket or with ground systems connected to the rocket at Launch Complex 40.

The mission was delayed from May by a helium leak on the rocket, but it was not known if the same issue was a factor Friday.

Weather had been the main concern before the launch attempt, but conditions cooperated throughout the countdown.

SpaceX is launching the first six of 17 small satellites for Orbcomm Inc., a New Jersey-based provider of machine-to-machine communications.

If the mission does not launch this weekend, it may have to stand down for a week while the Air Force's Eastern Range performs scheduled maintenance.



Copyright 2014USAToday

Read the original story: SpaceX launch scrapped; better luck tomorrow?

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