The Ilona Mask rocket did not launch a commercial satellite mission ahead of cargo delivery to the International Space Station, scheduled for mid-February.
The company on Sunday was unable to carry out the planned launch of the EchoStar communication satellite before launching the NASA cargo to the ISS, as it would take more time to prepare the new launch complex.
SpaceX rents a historic launch complex 39A to launch Falcon 9 and planned Falcon Heavy rockets. It was last used by NASA's space shuttles in 2011 and previous Apollo Moon programs.
39A is located in the Kennedy Space Center (Florida), north of the main launch site of SpaceX - the Air Force station at Cape Canaveral. The Cape site was badly damaged on September 1, when the Falcon 9 rocket caught fire during a preflight test.
After the accident, the company decided to get permission to run from 39A before they could repair the damage. They were going to launch 23 EchoStar satellites last year, but at the end of January there was a delay, and then another one at the beginning of February. On Sunday, SpaceX said that they could not launch satellites until they had delivered cargo to the ISS in mid-February. Preliminary graphs show that this event is scheduled for the 15th.
“These changes allow for additional testing of ground-based systems ahead of the CRS-10 mission,” said company representatives, referring to the 10th commercial supply services for NASA.
SpaceX did not immediately agree to comment on the situation about whether the company would try to land the first stage of the rocket for reuse. The output of satellites will not leave the propellant booster to return to the launch pad or a floating landing barge in the ocean.
NASA is holding a second 38B site for a planned space-heavy rocket system.