Despite fluctuating worries about cloudy weather conditions, it was the premature separation of a loose second-stage umbilical which ended today’s attempt to get Orbital Sciences’ new Antares rocket into orbit on its “A-ONE” maiden voyage. The countdown to launch from Pad 0A at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on Wallops Island, Va., proceeded normally until less than 30 minutes before the scheduled 5:00 p.m. EDT liftoff time, when “an anomaly” was noted and the long-awaited launch was called off. Early indications are that a delay of perhaps 48 hours will be necessary to ready Antares for another attempt, although this has yet to be officially confirmed. READ MORE »
Posts tagged Scrub
Following todays failed launch attempt the Mission Management team have discussed the prospects for launching the Atlas V with twin RBSP spacecraft in the next few days. Bearing in mind that Hurricane Isaac is hurtling across the Caribbean and heading for landfall on the south west coast of Florida in the early hours of Monday morning the managers have decided to wait out the storm.
The Atlas V will be rolled back to the Vertical Integration Facility for protection from the outer edges of the Hurricane as it passes through. The new launch date has been reset for Thursday August 30th at 4:05 EDT (8:05 GMT). This needs final confirmation after obtaining approval from the range.
With this launch date it is likely that the rocket will be rolled out to the launch pad again on Tuesday when Hurricane Isaac will be making landfall once again on the Panhandle in the northern part of Florida.
The official statement from ULA follows: READ MORE »
Once again NASA’s RBSP launch on an Atlas V has been scrubbed today. This time the problem was weather violating 4 launch criteria rules as a storm moved onto the cape 45 minutes before T-0. Up until that time the launch had been running smoothly with no problems at all.
The Mission management team are currently safeing the Atlas V booster and Centaur upper stage. The team will then recycle the rocket in preparation for a launch tomorrow 26th August at 4:07 EST (8:07 GMT). The weather outlook for tomorrow is the same as today with a 40% chance of violating the launch rules.
The range beacon issue from yesterdays failed launch attempt was determined to be a transponder on the Atlas V rocket. This was transmitting signals slightly out of specifications. After discussions with the Range Safety Officers it was determined that the launch could continue with the existing hardware.
Early this morning the Atlas V carrying the twin Radiation Belt Storm Probe spacecraft started the countdown to launch early this morning. After experiencing a small problem with a fuel valve the countdown continued smoothly and entered the programmed hold at T-4.
It was during this hold that a problem was found with a critical range tracking beacon. Unfortunately this was unable to be resolved within the available time causing the launch to be scrubbed. There was no issue with the Atlas V, Centaur or the RBSP spacecraft.
The range tracking beacon is one of the few instruments that allow engineers to monitor the flight of the rocket on its way into orbit. This is a mandatory item on the checklist and failure means an automatic hold in the countdown process.
The launch has been rescheduled for 4:07am EDT (8:07 GMT) tomorrow 25th August, pending successful diagnosis and resolution of the range tracking beacon. The weather forecast indicates a 60% chance of good conditions at launch time.
The official scrub statement from ULA and some more launch pad photos follow: READ MORE »
Last week there were two attempts to launch the Atlas 5 rocket carrying MUOS-1 US Navy communications satellite from LC-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Both launches were scrubbed due to adverse weather.
Our video is a time lapse of both launch day windows showing the beautiful sunset on the first day and the appalling conditions on the second. If it had not been for the upper level winds the first launch day would have been perfect with the launch occurring just as the sun was setting. The second day really shows how bad the conditions were on the launch pad and why the rocket could not be launched.
The video was taken using a GoPro Hero (original) set to 720p60 recording the two 45 minute launch windows. The footage was then compressed in post processing resulting in this one minute video.
Today’s launch of STS-133 Space Shuttle Discovery was ‘scrubbed’ due to a problem found when attempting to fill the hydrogen fuel tank on board the rocket.
Initially they had isolated the problem to a GUCP (Ground Umbilical Carrier Plate) that removes surplus gasses to the hydrogen vent. This is not an unknown situation and has occurred on two other missions. This time however the leak was a lot larger than previous issues.
The teams are now draining the tank and filling it with helium to make it inert. This safing process takes 24 hours so the engineers will not even get to look at the problem on the rocket until tomorrow morning. The whole turn-round for the issue assuming a quick fix would have been 72 hours making monday the earliest possible launch date.
After the GUCP issue de-tanking had started a 7″ crack was detected on the inter-tank foam which is a potential ice hazard. Discussions need to take place to determine what action needs to take place.