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Wed, Dec 13, 2006

VA Spaceport's Inaugural Launch Delayed Until Friday

USAF Works To Fix Satellite Glitch

The inaugural launch from Virginia's Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport has been delayed until at least the end of this week.

Officials with the new spaceport say teams at New Mexico's Kirtland Air Force Base are still working on a software glitch for the Air Force satellite that is the primary payload.

The Associated Press reports the problem onboard the TacSat-2 satellite turned up Sunday night, forcing officials to scrub a planned launch on Monday.

Scientists believe they can resolve the problem without removing the satellite from its Minotaur I rocket... but if they do have to pull the satellite, that will push the launch off until January. 

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, or MARS, is one of only six federally licensed launch centers in the country.

Earlier this year, a spaceport in New Mexico saw its first flight end 42 seconds after the UP Aerospace rocket lifted off. Just goes to show you... when it comes to spaceports, it really IS rocket science.

FMI: www.vaspace.org

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