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NASA's Hurricane Satellite CYGNSS Launch Delayed, Pegasus XL Liftoff Moved to Dec. 14

Dec 14, 2016 04:00 AM EST

NASA's hurricane satellite Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System's (CYGNSS) Dec. 12 launch was aborted due to a technical glitch with the Orbital ATK's Pegasus XL rocket releasing mechanism. The launch was moved to a later date.

It's better to be safe than sorry. The launch team has monitored the weather for the supposed CYGNSS launch last Monday, Dec. 12. After receiving a go signal to proceed with liftoff, a technical problem with the rocket's pump postponed the launch of Pegasus XL rocket that was supposed to carry NASA's fleet of hurricane satellite into orbit.

Reports say that the L-1011 crew spent almost the entire launch time to troubleshoot the problem before deciding to postpone the launch to properly fix the issue and ensure a successful mission to space. The precautions were not surprising after what transpired with the SpaceX Falcon 9 explosion in Cape Canaveral last Sept. 1. Months after the incident, Elon Musk's company is still suffering from the repercussions of the unfortunate event.

NASA prepared to stream the launch live on NASA TV. However, Pegasus was not able to fly due to technical matters. The problem might be coming from a circuit breaker responsible for the release mechanism of the Pegasus XL rocket, according to Spaceflight Insider. Another window was set on Dec. 13, however, the mission team announced that the launch will take place later than that.

Orbital ATK announced the new launch date. "We are go for the next launch attempt of the Pegasus rocket December 14, with a launch window from 8:20 to 9:20 a.m. EST," an Orbital ATK official said in a press release.

Pegasus XL will carry a total of eight tiny satellites composing NASA's fleet of CYGNSS system. Orbital ATK said that the rocket is capable of carrying the payload into to orbit in 10 minutes. The rocket will freefall for five seconds above the Atlantic Ocean before activating its first stage engines.


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