Seven seconds before blastoff at 8:15 p.m. Saturday, a problem detected by the “terminal countdown sequencer rack” prompted a team member to call for a hold, aborting the planned launch.
“The team is currently reviewing all data and will determine the path forward,” ULA representatives said. “A new launch date will be provided when available.”
ULA officials remained mum Sunday about a new launch date and no new mariners’ notices have been issued.
Presumably, the team did not have time to assess the problem and fix it if needed before Saturday’s launch opportunity expired.
Rocket launches typically have a limited time to get off the ground each day so their payloads can be placed where needed in space.
Since the Delta IV Heavy will carry a top-secret payload to space for the National Reconnaissance Office, the actual launch window remains top secret but likely spans less than an hour.
Saturday’s countdown initially aimed for an 8:06 p.m. launch but the team needed time to troubleshoot an unidentified issue earlier Saturday, prompting mission managers to establish a different launch time.
The scrubbed launch attempt was the second delay of the week. Approximately three hours before the planned blastoff Friday night, a glitch involving a redundant communication link between the control center and the launch site forced the first scrub.