NASA Alarmed by SpaceX Spacecraft Seemingly Leaking Fuel

This doesn’t seem good at all!

Cargo Fail

SpaceX’s imminent cargo launch has been delayed because its Dragon spacecraft may be leaking fuel.

In a statement, NASA said that it discovered “elevated vapor readings of mono-methyl hydrazine (MMH)” — a volatile fuel used by SpaceX’s Dragon to adjust its orbit and attitude — in “an isolated region of the Draco thruster propulsion system.”

That means the cargo launch, previously scheduled for June 12, will be put on hold while they figure out the source of the potential leak.

Houston told the crew aboard the ISS, who were waiting to receive supplies from the reusable Cargo Dragon spacecraft, that it will launch “no earlier than June 28,” CBSspace reporter William Harwood noted

While this is definitely not great news for the astronauts on the ISS, they won’t have to ration supplies any time soon given that Russia launched its own cargo resupply mission to the space station last week.

Fuel-geddaboutit

It’s not the first time NASA has had to deal with fuel leaks as of late.

In April, the agency had to delay a “dress rehearsal” for its super-expensive moon rocket launch due to a fuel leak, which was discovered in the wake of a valve issue.

This month’s launch could mark the third time the Cargo Dragon spacecraft dubbed C208 has delivered cargo into space.

While the capsule won’t carry any astronauts to the space station, SpaceX and NASA will likely want to get behind the exact cause of the leak prior to the company’s next astronaut launch later this year, as the spacecraft has plenty in common with Crew Dragon , as Ars Technica points out.

SpaceX has made great strides in making rockets and spacecraft more reusable than ever before — but it may be that some of the company’s hardware is starting to show its age.

READ MORE: Dragon Mission on Hold as Astronauts Conduct Eye Exams, Spacesuit Work [NASA]

More on the ISS: No, These Aren’t Weird Visitors on the Outside of the Space Station

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