Commercial rocket schedule delayed

March 2, 2008

The first launch in the NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Service has been postponed until June 2009.

SpaceX announced the delay of the Falcon 9 launch Friday, saying it was putting off the launch for nine months, Florida Today reported.

Roger Gilbertson, a spokesman for the company, said the postponement was at SpaceX's request. But he said there are no technical glitches involved.

The space shuttle program closes down in 2010. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has provided $500 million to help private companies develop vehicles that can reach the International Space Station.

SpaceX has been authorized to receive $278 million for three Falcon 9 launches, the last in March 2010.

A NASA spokeswoman said the agency has approved the new schedule.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

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