Thu, Jul 15, 2004
The launch of NASA's Aura spacecraft atop a Boeing Delta II
rocket was scrubbed Wednesday because of an issue with one of the
two batteries on the second stage of the Delta II launch vehicle.
At approximately three minutes before the scheduled liftoff time,
as the batteries were being transferred to internal power, the
battery current level dropped below prescribed limits, triggering a
Engineers and mission managers are assessing the situation and
deciding on a date for the next launch attempt. Two options are
being considered. The first is to attempt a launch on Thursday
morning, July 15, during a three-minute launch window that opens at
6:01:59 a.m. EDT (3:01:59 a.m. PDT). The second option under
consideration is to stand down until Saturday, July 17, due to
range conflicts at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Weather is a concern for a launch attempt on Thursday morning.
The current forecast calls for only a 60 percent probability of
acceptable weather conditions. The primary concerns are for thick
clouds and the possibility of triggered lightning in the launch
area due to the remnants of daytime thunderstorm activity in
Southern California. In addition, Tropical Storm Blas, off the
coast of Baja California, could prevent a P3 aircraft from flying
to its launch support position. The P3 relays telemetry from the
launch vehicle back to the launch team at Vandenberg.
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