SpaceX: Analyzing Two Cracks Ahead Of Launch

Hawthorne-based SpaceX said Tuesday that it is analyzing two small cracks at the end of its 2nd stage, engine nozzle extension, as it decides whether or not it will attempt a launch on Wednesday. The firm--which had planned to launch its demonstration flight for NASA today--detected one of the cracks Monday, and was looking at repairing or replacing the parts. According to SpaceX, it believes the cracks would not cause a flight failure, but is further investigating the issue to ensure that the cracks are not a symptom of a more serious problem with its rocket. SpaceX is poised to launch the demonstration flight for NASA, to test the performance of its Dragon space capsule, designed to deliver cargo to the International Space Station. SpaceX is the commercial rocket firm backed and headed by technology entrepreneur Elon Musk. Musk made his fortune at PayPal, and also is head of electric car Tesla Motors.