Friday, November 19, 2010

Fueling problem scrubs Delta IV Heavy launch

Abnormal temperature readings during fueling halted tonight's night's planned launch of a secret satellite atop a Delta IV Heavy rocket.

United Launch Alliance plans to announce the timing of a next launch attempt by Saturday afternoon after further analysis of the problem.

The giant rocket was preparing to blast off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 6:06 p.m. today with a classified National Reconnaissance Office spacecraft.

But the loading of supercold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants stopped when irregular temperatures were detected in two of three first-stage boosters, on either side of the center one.

After briefly resetting the launch time to 8:30 p.m. while troubleshooting continued, a scrub was officially called at 3:45 p.m.

At Launch Complex 37, a 330-foot mobile service tower is being rolled back into place around the 23-story rocket to give technicians access to sensors and instruments on the boosters.

If a launch attempt is possible Sunday, the forecast remains excellent with a 90 percent chance of favorable conditions.

IMAGE: The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy on its pad this morning at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Credit: Pat Corkery, ULA


Anonymous said...

As if we were expecting anything more than another delay by NASA workers. Ya Think

Anonymous said...

Those aren't NASA workers, by the way. They're United Launch Alliance workers--not United Space Alliance. Different companies altogether.

Anonymous said...

What is it with everybody jumping all over NASA and United Launch Alliance? At least they are trying to fix the problem before they launch. I would rather see them do it right than forge ahead and have something go seriously wrong, and have someone on the ground get hurt, or loss of millions of dollars of equipment.

Anonymous said...

It is a little more complex than your typical lawn mower - and how many times do you have problems with it?

Anonymous said...

It might be due to the numerous delays of the shuttle lately, fuel leaks,foam cracks, etc. Disgruntled workers who had friends & co-workers recently laid off produced low employee morale not knowing what the future holds for all other contract workers out at Nasa. The public seems to feel some of these delays might be intentional too. Can't blame them since there does seem to be more than the usual delays lately with all launches.

Anonymous said...

If any of these workers feel their positions may be at risk of redundancy, it could definitely lead to reduced morale, lower productivity & shoddy workmanship. Workers sometimes become disillusioned & confused if they are not given a clear objective to work towards especially knowing many shuttle jobs will be gone by next year. United Launch Alliance & United Space Alliance are different companies & USA was where the shuttle workers were laid off not United Launch Alliance. Not sure if both companies are facing the layoffs.

Anonymous said...

"Disgruntled workers who had friends & co-workers recently laid off produced low employee morale not knowing what the future holds for all other contract workers out at Nasa"

Wow, it's difficult to believe that there is ANY contractor left out at the Space Center who doesn't believe their job is going away next year. If there is any shuttle contractor who believes they'll still have their job this time next year, they should be relieved now for mental health reasons.

8000+ contractors WILL be layed off next year. It's a done deal. And since Obama cancelled the Constellation program, those jobs won't be coming back.