Stormy Weather Prompts Saturday Scrub of NASA Radiation Mission Launch

RSS

NASA radiation mission awaits third launch attempt. Photo: NASA- TV.

Efforts to launch NASA's twin Radiation Belt Storm Probe mission spacecraft were scrubbed for a second time early Saturday by the threat of off shore thunderstorms.

A third attempt to launch the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 401 rocket carrying the two 1,400 pound probes from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., was re-scheduled for Sunday at 4:07 a.m., EDT, the start of a 20 minute window.

Forecasters offered a 40 percent chance of favorable weather for the attempt. Stormy conditions to the south and east of Cape Canaveral on Saturday violated launch weather rules for lightning and flight through cumulus clouds. Wind gusts associated with Tropical Storm Isaac and cloud cover will be a concern on Sunday.

The first attempt to start the two-year $686 million mission for studies 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. The scrub was called as the 20 minute launch period expired.

Please or Register to post comments.

What's On Space?

On Space

From The Archives

Aviation Week is approaching its 100th anniversary in 2016. In a series of blogs, our editors highlight editorial content from the magazine's long and rich history.

 

Aug 27, 2015
blog

Aviation Week Lifts Veil On Boeing B-52 Bomber (1952) 10

In 1952, Aviation Week provided the first details on the new Boeing B-52 bomber....More
Aug 14, 2015
blog

Bonanza Travel Pays 3

The legendary Beechcraft Bonanza has an impressive production record, so perhaps the marketers back in 1949 were onto something when they coined the phrase "Bonanza travel pays."...More
Aug 14, 2015
blog

Venerable Boeing 727 Prototype To Fly Again 26

The most famous 727, the prototype aircraft which would join United as N7001U, was delivered to the airline in October 1964 having served its time as a Boeing test aircraft....More
Aug 13, 2015
blog

Aviation Week And The Bomb

Aviation News did not predict how nuclear weapons would change the world. But neither did anyone else....More
Aug 13, 2015
blog

Collins Radar Takes The Ups And Downs Out Of Flying

Turbulence? Rockwell Collins had a solution for those bumpy rides in the early 80s with its WXR-700 Doppler Weather Radar....More
Blog Archive
Penton Corporate

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×