Satellite testing postpones SpaceX launch from Cape Canaveral

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - A decision to continue testing on a satellite has postponed Sunday's planned launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, Local 6 news partner Florida Today reports.

The launch had been scheduled for 8 p.m. Sunday from Cape Canaveral. A new date has not been set.

After Monday, the Air Force's Eastern Range was scheduled to begin a planned two-week maintenance period, and it was not immediately clear if any launch opportunities would be available during that time.

A brief pre-launch test-firing of Falcon 9 engines was expected to proceed this afternoon at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 40.

Orbcomm Inc. on Friday confirmed additional testing on one of the six commercial satellites it is preparing for launch atop the Falcon 9 was the reason for the delay.

An issue described as minor was discovered with the satellite earlier this week, pushing the launch back from Thursday. Orbcomm said the satellites were encapsulated in a payload fairing Wednesday and tests showed them functioning properly, but managers elected to perform additional tests as a precaution.

A rocket issue postponed the mission's planned launch a month ago.

The mission is the first of two this year to deploy a new constellation of 17 small satellites in low Earth orbit for Orbcomm, a provider of machine-to-machine communications.

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