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Not Ready for Take-Off Again! NASA Aborts CYGNSS Satellite Launch Twice in a Week

Dec 14, 2016 12:25 PM EST
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In an unfortunate turn of events, NASA was left with no other choice but to abort the launch of its CYGNSS mission once more. The space agency has experienced quite a bumpy week, rescheduling the launch two times in a row in a single week.

Originally scheduled for Monday (December 12), the launch, which will send eight small satellites into space on a Pegasus XL rocket, has been postponed because of a faulty hydraulic pump issue. In its official blog NASA stated:

 "Monday's launch was aborted due to an issue with the launch vehicle release system on the L-1011 Stargazer. A hydraulic system operates the mechanism that releases the Pegasus rocket from the carrier aircraft. The hydraulic system functioned properly during the pre-flight checks of the airplane.

The current targeted Wednesday launch time will allow for a replacement L-1011 carrier aircraft component to arrive from Mojave, California, and be installed, as well as support the required crew rest requirements."

On Wednesday, however, the rescheduled launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, has been called off again, The Verge reports. This time, it's because of a software glitch.

"The CYGNSS launch planned for Wednesday, Dec. 14 is being delayed due to an issue with flight parameter data used by spacecraft software. The issue was discovered during routine testing Tuesday. The new flight parameter data have undergone verification testing on the engineering model, and will be uploaded to the spacecraft on Wednesday. The uploading of new flight data is a very routine procedure, and is expected correct the issue. The next launch attempt will be determined pending the results of ongoing tests," the space agency's blog wrote.

NASA has not yet announced a new launch date as of late.

Flying in formation about 316 miles above the Earth's surface, NASA's eight CYGNSS microsatellites is expected to focus on the tropics, study wind speeds and intensification of tropical cyclones, such as hurricanes. Providing a closer monitoring system of cyclones and storms, the fleet of CYGNSS satellites will help scientists understand how and why these natural phenomena occur.

Know more about NASA's CYGNSS mission by watching this video.

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