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Glitch Delays Delta II Rocket Departure at Vandenberg AFB

Launch will carry the first of four next-generation weather satellites for the Joint Polar Satellite System

The Mobile Service Tower is rolled back in preparation for launch of a Delta II rocket carrying JPSS-1 for NASA and NOAA at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Tuesday’s liftoff attempt was scrubbed. Click to view larger
The Mobile Service Tower is rolled back in preparation for launch of a Delta II rocket carrying JPSS-1 for NASA and NOAA at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Tuesday’s liftoff attempt was scrubbed.  (Walter Scriptunas II / ULA photo)

Minutes before blastoff, technical troubles forced the team to scrub Tuesday’s Delta II rocket launch countdown for a mission to carry a next-generation weather satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Liftoff of the United Launch Alliance booster aimed for 1:47 a.m. from Space Launch Complex-2.

Mission managers were tentatively planning to try again for liftoff at 1:47 a.m. Wednesday.

However, a new launch attempt is pending resolution of a glitch, a red alarm from systems monitoring the rocket's first stage, that prompted a crew member to call "hold, hold, hold," minutes before liftoff early Tuesday.

The launch team had to deal with boats in the exclusion area off the coast, waters typically kept free of mariners for safety reasons, officials said.

A 66-second launch window to ensure the satellite reaches its proper place in space meant the crew had no time to fix the last-minute glitches and still attempt a liftoff Tuesday morning, NASA officials said. 

The booster will carry the first in a series of four satellites for the Joint Polar Satellite System, JPSS-1, a new generation of weather satellites.

The spacecraft was built by Ball Aerospace and involves a collaboration between NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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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