SpaceX’s Dragon supply ship failed to rendezvous with ISS, will try again Thursday

A GPS error prevented SpaceX’s Dragon supply ship from mating with the ISS early this morning. The craft was less than a mile away from the space station when the docking had to be aborted. NASA stated the Dragon craft and the ISS crew are safe.

Another rendezvous will be attempted on Thursday. This is the first time SpaceX had to abort an ISS delivery mission as the company has been delivering supplies to the ISS since 2012. Coincidentally, a Russian supply ship launched atop a rocket from Kazakhstan just a few hours earlier. It is scheduled to deliver supplies to the station on Friday.

SpaceX’s Dragon craft was supposed to dock with the International Space Station this morning and deliver supplies, including a new instrument specifically designed to monitor and study the Earth’s ozone layer. After the docking failed this morning, automated systems aboard the Dragon canceled the rendezvous.

The mission started at NASA’s historic Launch Complex 39 at the Kennedy Space Center. This is the same complex used in the Shuttle and Apollo program. SpaceX hopes to eventually use the facility for manned launches in early 2018.