Friday 19 September, 2014

NASA delays carbon-hunting satellite launch by a day

Published On: Wed, Jul 2nd, 2014 | Astrophysics | By BioNews

The launch of NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket was postponed Tuesday less than a minute before lift-off when the launch pad’s water system failed, NASA said in a statement.

Now, the satellite will be launched Wednesday from Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the statement added.

“As we only have a 30-second launch window, launch will not be occurring this morning,” said George Diller, NASA launch commentator.

The rocket, built and flown by United Launch Alliance, a partnership of Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co, was due to lift off Tuesday morning from a launch pad that had not been used in nearly three years.

The launch team has completed troubleshooting of the launch pad water suppression system that resulted in the scrub Tuesday, NASA said.

The OCO-2 mission will produce the most detailed picture to date of natural sources of carbon dioxide, as well as their “sinks” — places on the Earth’s surface where carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere. The observatory will study how these sources and sinks are distributed around the globe and how they change over time, the statement added.

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