After a malfunctioning check valve caused a holdup in the scheduled May 19 launch of SpaceX's Dragon cargo capsule to the International Space Station (ISS), the engineers at the private rocket company have replaced the suspect valve and given the capsule the clearance for a 3:44 am EDT launch Tuesday morning.
The faulty valve had led to the last-minute call off in the Saturday launch of the Dragon Capsule; and the SpaceX engineers have finally given the launch a go ahead after conducting a data review to ensure that there are no other glitches.
With NASA having retired its space shuttle fleet last year, the SpaceX Dragon Capsule will make its journey to the ISS, carrying along 1,149 pounds of cargo to the space station, and bringing back 1,455 pounds to the Earth.
Originally, the Dragon Capsule was scheduled to launch on February 7, but the timeline was extended because SpaceX said that it wanted to carry out some more tests before the cargo capsule could be sent to the ISS. The company then set April 30 as an approximate date for the launch, but later postponed it to May 7, and ultimately to May 19.
Stating that the new launch date for the Dragon is May 22, EDT, Mike Horkachuck - NASA project executive for SpaceX - said that the flawed check value on the Merlin engine has been replaced with a new unit; and that the engineers "have tested all the other engines for similar problems and believe they are good to go."