Scrub Delays Delta 4 Launch Until October
CAPE CANAVERAL--A Boeing Delta 4 rocket launch was called off late in the countdown Tuesday evening during a second attempt to launch a weather satellite.
Boeing will not try to launch again today, and because the batteries in the rocket's self-destruct system have expired, the next attempt is expected to be after the risky "eclipse" period.
During this time, less sunlight would reach the satellite's solar arrays in orbit, providing less energy to charge the batteries during the satellite's initial deployment.
With an August launch no longer possible, the earliest possible attempt would be Oct. 8, NASA said.
Tuesday's attempt was scrubbed in the final five minutes when the team saw a battery voltage alarm on the rocket's second stage.
For now, the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite--the first of a new generation of three--is to act as a second spare for the United States' two active weather spacecraft. There's not a rush to get it to orbit, though having two active satellites is important.
"Gaps in data would disrupt the National Weather Service's ability to predict not only hurricanes, as many of you here in Florida are well aware of, but also tornadoes, flash floods and other severe weather," said NOAA's manager for the satellite, Steve Kirkner, in an earlier briefing.
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