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Bad Battery Forces Delay for Delta II Launch at Vandenberg AFB

Liftoff for rocket carrying environmental satellite won’t occur before Nov. 14 at the earliest

At Vandenberg Air Force Base earlier this year, a United Launch Alliance Delta II second stage is hoisted into the gantry at Space Launch Complex 2. It will be mounted atop first stage of the rocket, seen on the left, as preparations continue for the launch of the Joint Polar Satellite System-1. Click to view larger
At Vandenberg Air Force Base earlier this year, a United Launch Alliance Delta II second stage is hoisted into the gantry at Space Launch Complex 2. It will be mounted atop first stage of the rocket, seen on the left, as preparations continue for the launch of the Joint Polar Satellite System-1. (Randy Beaudoin / NASA photo)

Plans to launch a Delta II rocket and its new weather satellite to space later this week from Vandenberg Air Force Base have been thwarted by a faulty battery. 

Liftoff of the United Launch Alliance rocket, once planned for 1:47 a.m. Friday, won’t occur before Nov. 14 at the earliest, officials said Monday.

The rocket is set to carry the Joint Polar Satellite System-1, or JPSS-1, the first of a new series of environmental spacecraft officials say will help improve weather forecasting. 

ULA officials blamed a faulty battery for the postponement.

“The delay allows the team time to replace the battery on the Delta II booster,” ULA officials said in a written statement. “The vehicle and spacecraft remain stable.”

A faulty battery also was to blame for the delay of an Atlas V rocket launch from Vandenberg in September.

This mission, a cooperative effort between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administratio  and NASA, is the latest polar-orbiting weather satellite to launch from Vandenberg. 

Delta II rockets blast off from Space Launch Complex-2, noticeable for its blue tower, near Vandenberg's airfield.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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