ULA’s ‘Groundhog Day’ continues with third weather scrub for AFSPC-4 Delta launch
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla – In a near repeat of the launch attempts of July 24 and 25, severe storms at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 37 in Florida caused a scrub for the day to be declared at 7:06 p.m. EDT (2306 GMT). Much as on the two prior attempts, torrential rain, numerous lightning strikes as well as a tornado warning made liftoff of a United Launch Alliance (ULA ) Delta IV Medium+ 4,2 rocket impossible. The payload for this mission consists of three satellites under the AFSPC-4 banner.
ULA tried waiting out the weather, which seemed to be a good plan as the storm was fairly fast moving. However, several weather violations lingered and the launch was scrubbed for at least 48 hours.
The launch window for this evening’s attempt opened at 6:51 p.m. EDT (2251 GMT) and extended for some 65 minutes. However, the raging thunderstorms overhead would not allow mission managers to get the launch vehicle and its precious cargo off the launch pad. ULA’s Lyn Chassagne stated that the reason ULA will not be trying again on July 27 was for crew rest as the launch team has been working since Wednesday to conduct the launch.
ULA has stated that it will try again on Monday, July 28. The launch window for that attempt will open at 6:47 p.m. EDT (2247 GMT).
Tonight’s scrub means that the planned July 31 launch of an Atlas V 401 rocket with the GPS IIF-7 satellite has been pushed back 24 hours to August 1.
Post edited on July 27, 2014 at 12:24 a.m. EDT to reflect new information regarding the scrub.
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.