Isaac Prompts NASA to Bump Radiation Mission Launch to Thursday


ULA Atlas 5 with NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probe Mission satellites awaits weekend roll back. Image Credit: NASA TV

NASA will look to Thursday -- Aug. 30 -- for a third attempt to launch the Radiation Belt Storm Probe mission to avoid gusty winds and other storm threats posed by Tropical Storm Isaac.

Efforts to launch the $686 million twin spacecraft mission from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., were scrubbed for a second time early Saturday by the threat of off shore thunderstorms.

The bid Thursday to place the two 1,400 pound probes in orbit atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 is scheduled for 4:05 a.m., EDT, the start of a 20 minute window.

The Atlas 5 will be rolled back from Space Launch Complex-41 to the Vertical Integration Facility at CCAFS until Isaac clears the Florida peninsula, NASA managers decided after Saturday's scrub. The launch had been tentatively re-set for early Sunday.

The first attempt to start the two-year study of high energy particle fluctuations in the Earth's twin Van Allen radiation belts was scrubbed on Friday by a drift in frequency noted in the C-band transponder on the Atlas 5.

Mission managers elected to proceed with the defective hardware but activated additional ground-based C-band radar tracking assets for the ascent.

Saturday's countdown reached a prolonged four-minute hold without technical issues. Lift off was scheduled for 4:07 a.m. The scrub was called as the 20 minute launch period expired because of threats from lightning and a cumulus clouds in the flight path.

Please or Register to post comments.

What's On Space?

On Space

A Century of Aviation Week

Aviation Week & Space Technology is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. In a series of blogs, our editors highlight editorial content from the magazine's long and rich history.


Aug 26, 2016

When Aviation Week Was Accused of Treason -- The Back Story Revealed 8

A 1957 revelation that the U.S. was tracking Soviet missile launches from a secret radar in Turkey has its roots in sleuthing of students from Kettering Grammar School in the UK....More
Aug 23, 2016

When Aviation Week Was Accused Of Treason 23

Aviation Week editors routinely get blowback when they write about sensitive topics, and the best example of that may be an October 1957 story that revealed the U.S. had been tracking Russian missile launches from advanced long-range radar units in Turkey....More
Blog Archive
Penton Corporate

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×