Antares Rocket Launch Scrubbed From Wallops Island - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Antares Rocket Launch Scrubbed From Wallops Island

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

ATLANTIC, Va.- Orbital Sciences Corp. decided to scrub Wednesday's launch attempt of the Antares rocket and the Cygnus cargo spacecraft from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia's Eastern Shore.

NASA said the launch, which would have been part of Orbital's first resupply mission to the International Space Station, could not take place Wednesday due to an unusually high level of space radiation that exceeded constraints imposed on Antares.

The solar flux activity that occurred late Tuesday afternoon resulted in an increasing level of radiation beyond what the Antares engineering team monitored earlier in the day, according to NASA. Overnight, Orbital's engineers conducted an analysis of the radiation levels, but NASA said the Antares team decided to postpone the launch to further examine the potential effects of the space radiation on the rocket's avionics. The Cygnus spacecraft would not be affected by the solar event, NASA said.

In consultation with NASA, Orbital Sciences on Wednesday will continue to monitor the levels of space radiation with a goal of setting a new launch date as soon as possible. NASA said if a launch can be scheduled for Thursday, the targeted launch time would be 1:10 p.m. EST, with Cygnus arriving at the ISS Sunday, Jan. 12, for a grapple at 6:02 a.m. EST. If a launch can be conducted Thursday, NASA TV coverage would begin at 12:45 p.m. EST.

NASA said that at Mission Control in Houston, the flight control team reported that the ISS crew is not affected by this solar event and does not require any special precautionary measures.

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