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SpaceX, we have a problem: lift-off is delayed for rocket carrying art

A rendering of Trevor Paglen's diamond-shaped sculpture, attached to a tiny satellite Nevada Museum of Art

The delay of today's widely anticipated launch of a SpaceX rocket in California was a disappointment to more than just the average space fan. The Falcon 9 rocket was due to carry two works of art—a reflective Suprematist-inspired sculpture by the artist Trevor Paglen and a bust of Nasa's first African-American astronaut by the artist Tavares Strachan—along with dozens of other satellites. But SpaceX announced in a tweet this weekend that the planned launch from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base would be cancelled "to conduct additional pre-flight inspections". A spokeswoman at the Nevada Museum of Art, which is sponsoring Paglen's project, says lift-off will therefore take place “sometime after the Thanksgiving Day holiday”. Paglen, who had flown in to watch the launch, is philosophical about the delay. “This is definitely par for the course in terms of doing things in space,” he says. “We’re trying to roll with the punches and accept those things you cannot control.”