WALLOPS ISLAND, Virginia -- NASA's commercial partner, Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles, Va., confirmed a premature separation of a launch pad umbilical connection to its Antares rocket's upper stage used for data communications halted Wednesday’s countdown of the Antares test launch. NASA says that engineers currently are analyzing what occurred to determine what measures will be taken to resolve the issue.
During the launch countdown, safeguards were put in place to periodically verify all systems are functioning as planned. With twelve minutes left in the count, the launch team identified the anomaly and called a scrub of Wednesday’s test launch attempt.
The next launch attempt from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va. is tentatively set for no earlier than Friday, April 19, 2013, pending final resolution of the issue and acceptable weather conditions. NASA says that the team is targeting a 5:00 p.m. EDT launch.
Image Credit: NASA / Brea Reeves