Launch pad glitch delays liftoff of NASA
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[July 01, 2014]
By Irene Klotz
CAPE CANAVERAL Fla. (Reuters) - The launch
of an unmanned Delta 2 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in
California was called off less than a minute before liftoff on Tuesday
when the padís water system failed, a live NASA Television broadcast
The rocket, built and flown by United Launch Alliance, a
partnership of Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co, was due to lift
off at 2:56 a.m. PDT (5:56 a.m. EDT, 0956 GMT) from a launch pad
that had not been used in nearly three years.
The padís water system is needed in case of a fire and to help
suppress potentially damaging acoustic vibrations from launch.
The rocket carries NASAís $465 million Orbiting Carbon Observatory.
Built by Orbital Sciences Corp, it is designed to measure where
carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas tied to climate change, is moving
into and out of the atmosphere.
United Launch Alliance had just 30 seconds to get the rocket off the
launch pad to properly position the OCO satellite at the front of a
train of polar-orbiting spacecraft that passes over Earthís equator
at the same time every afternoon.
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ďAs we only have a 30-second launch window, launch will not be
occurring this morning,Ē said NASA launch commentator George Diller.
The launch was tentatively rescheduled for Wednesday, but engineers
first have to track down the cause of the water system problem, he
(Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)
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