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SpaceX cargo ship aborts rendezvous with space station

Space X's Falcon 9 rocket is prepared for launch to the International Space Station at the Kennedy Space Center, on a renovated Space Shuttle launch pads
BRUCE WEAVER (AFP)
The ship is carrying over 5,000 pounds of food, gear, and science experiments for astronauts living on ISS

SpaceX aborted a planned rendezvous between an unmanned Dragon cargo ship and the International Space Station Wednesday because of a GPS problem.

"Dragon is in good health and will make another rendezvous attempt with the @Space_ Station Thursday morning," the private company said on Twitter.

The cargo ship is packed with more than 5,000 pounds (2,267 kilograms) of food, gear and science experiments for the six astronauts living on the orbiting space station.

It was taken into space Sunday aboard a Falcon rocket that took off from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The Dragon spacecraft was to have coupled with the ISS before dawn Wednesday.

NASA TV/AFP

But when the cargo ship was making its final approach toward the space station, the berthing was aborted because of a problem with GPS hardware, NASA said.

The spacecraft was 1.2 km (0.7 miles) from the space station when the abort was called.

This is the 10th such resupply mission for SpaceX, which along with Orbital ATK has a multi-year contract with NASA to send supplies to the International Space Station.

SpaceX is also developing a version of its Dragon capsule that can one day carry astronauts to space.

SpaceX says the first crew flights will take place in 2018, though a Government Accountability Office report out last week predicted that schedule delays and budget cuts would push it back to 2019.

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