Friday, December 04, 2009

Delta IV Rocket Launch Pushed Back To Saturday

A Delta IV rocket launch is being pushed back to Saturday to give engineers time to work a minor technical problem and a storm system time to pass through the central Florida area.

The 217-foot-tall rocket and its payload -- a military communications satellite -- are scheduled to blast off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 7:23 p.m. Saturday. The launch window would extend until 8:47 p.m.

The weather forecast, however, is not great. There is an 60 percent chance rain showers and electrically charged clouds could force a delay. That's better, though, than the 80 percent chance weather conditions would prohibit a launch tonight.

Engineers are sorting out a ground launch control system glitch that ultimately forced the scrub of an initial launch attempt Thursday.

The Delta IV had been set to launch at 7:22 p.m. Thursday by stiff high-altitude winds and thick electrically charged clouds kept a countdown on hold. The launch control system glitch came as the close of the launch window Thursday approached.

Mission managers met early today and decided to scrap plans to try to launch tonight. Managers believe the delay will give engineers time to replace a faulty electronics card that is part of a system used to monitor Delta IV telemetry data.

The Delta IV will carry the third in a series of advanced Air Force communications satellites called Widefield Global SATCOM spacecraft. The 13,000-pound satellite will serve U.S. and allied troops on missions around the world, including those now fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.


jaxdodger said...

Is it any wonder why we are losing NASA dollars and space program money? The waste of money by standing by for three days when every FIFTH GRADER in the county knew the flight would be scrubbed by bad weather is just one example of the waste and incompetence of the space program as we now know it.

Anonymous said...

Jaxdodger, it's not a NASA launch -- NASA has nothing to do with it!!! Read a little better next time!

Ji Ji Park said...

I think it's a good move. It's a billion dollar project so you might as well make sure you get everything perfectly right.
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