Spaceflight Insider

Antares OA-8 launch scrubbed

Antares 230 / Cygnus OA-8 on the launch pad.

An Antares 230, with the Cygnus OA-8 mission spacecraft atop, on the launch pad. Photo Credit: Michael Deep / SpaceFlight Insider

The Orbital-ATK Antares 230 rocket with the S.S. Gene Cernan (Cygnus CRS OA-8E) spacecraft atop was poised for liftoff from NASA’s Wallops Island Flight facility this morning at 7:37 a.m. EST (12:37 GMT), but the launch was aborted “due to aircraft in the restricted area” – according to the company’s statement.

Under a nearly cloudless sky and after a nearly flawless countdown, and having a “GO” from all the flight controllers, the launch was immediately scrubbed with less than 2 minutes remaining in the count when an aircraft entered the hazard zone. The intruder was a general aviation aircraft approximately 6 miles (∼10 km) offshore and flying at an altitude of about 500 feet (152 meters); it was not responding to calls.

Although the overnight cold temperature was not a problem, there was a telemetry dropout during the multi-hour countdown due to a networking issue with the hardline (coaxial cable) coming off the umbilicals. The telemetry was then switched to radio frequency, but the Orbital ATK launch team were going to do that for launch anyway.

The next launch attempt will occur tomorrow, Sunday, November 12, 2017, with the five-minute launch window opening 23 minutes earlier than today at 07:14:52 EST (12:14:52 GMT).

SpaceFlight Insider will again be live via our webcast.



Lloyd Campbell’s first interest in space began when he was a very young boy in the 1960s with NASA’s Gemini and Apollo programs. That passion continued in the early 1970s with our continued exploration of our Moon, and was renewed by the Shuttle Program. Having attended the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on its final two missions, STS-131, and STS-133, he began to do more social networking on space and that developed into writing more in-depth articles. Since then he’s attended the launch of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, the agency’s new crew-rated Orion spacecraft on Exploration Flight Test 1, and multiple other uncrewed launches. In addition to writing, Lloyd has also been doing more photography of launches and aviation. He enjoys all aspects of space exploration, both human, and robotic, but his primary passions lie with human exploration and the vehicles, rockets, and other technologies that allow humanity to explore space.

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