SpaceX and NASA have been forced to delay the launch of a leading rocket after red varnish splashed on a rocket engine.
One of the rockets was planned to carry astronauts to the International Space Station on a Halloween launch. However, they must be replaced after contamination.
The bright red coating is applied to the rockets to protect their parts during cleaning. However, it spread into the engines’ small vent holes, making them unusable for the launch, SpaceX reported.
The Crew-1 launch is the first time that SpaceX will carry astronauts on behalf of NASA, following a successful test flight, where astronauts flew for ISS in the summer.
SpaceX and NASA officials announced the discovery of potentially harmful contaminants on Wednesday.
Dilapidated holes were found after a GPS satellite was canceled on October 2. Two of these engines were contaminated with a bright red coating, which protects the engine parts during cleaning.
SpaceX later found two of the nine booster engines on the rocket to have the same problem that would cause four astronauts to travel to the International Space Station. This will be the second inauguration of astronauts for NASA in SpaceX after a successful test flight earlier this year.
Engine trouble told SpaceX and NASA to push the launch on November 14th, two weeks after the plan.
Hans Koenigsman, vice president of the organization, said new methods were being put in place to tackle the problem.
“I think the important part for us is that we caught it before anything happened,” Koenigsman told reporters. “It’s really important to us that we fix it … and make sure it never happens again.”
In engine gas generators – stuck vent holes are the sixteenth of an inch (1. millimeter).
The on-board computers detected the problem and stopped the October 2 countdown in the final few seconds. Koenigsman said contaminated engines could be badly damaged if fired.
The cleaning process was done by an outside agency, which could not be identified. He noted that the problem has escalated over the past few months, noting that brand new boosters are affecting but not the old ones that have already been reused several times.
The next launch of SpaceX for NASA – a satellite to monitor sea level changes – is scheduled to take place in California from November 10 after a malfunctioning engine replacement.
Additional reports by the Associated Press