Spaceflight Insider

Weather nixes second launch attempt of Atlas V with NROL-52

Poor weather forced another delay for the launch of a ULA Atlas V 421 with the NROL-52 payload for the National Reconnaissance Office. Photo Credit: Tom Cross / SpaceFlight Insider

Poor weather forced another delay for the launch of a ULA Atlas V 421 with the NROL-52 payload for the National Reconnaissance Office. Photo Credit: Tom Cross / SpaceFlight Insider

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — United Launch Alliance tried once again to launch a classified mission on behalf of the National Reconnaissance Office. However, the NROL-52 mission is still on the pad at Space Launch Complex 41. The culprit was the same as the previous morning’s scrub – the turbulent Florida weather.

As 4:03 a.m. EDT (8:03 GMT) Oct. 6, 2017, came and went, it was announced that two of the rules guiding launch weather had been violated and a new T-0 of 4:13 a.m. was set. However, that new opening also passed without the rocket lifting off the pad and the launch was pushed back to 4:23 a.m., then 4:28 a.m., and finally to 4:31 a.m.

This continued on throughout the morning with the weather constantly interfering with efforts to get the mission underway. ULA was able to proceed out of the planned T-minus 4 minutes hold – only to have another weather hold called at T-minus 97 seconds. The launch team finally called a scrub at around 4:34 a.m. EDT.

Additionally, earlier in the day SpaceX opted to postpone the launch of the SES-11/EchoStar-105 mission until no-earlier-than Wednesday, Oct. 11. Although it has not been specifically stated, the weather is viewed as being one of the primary reasons behind the delay.

 

 

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Jason Rhian spent several years honing his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He has provided content for outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology, Space.com, The Mars Society and Universe Today.

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