Home / Science / Orbital ATK Aborts Rocket Launch to Space Station Due to Wayward Plane

Orbital ATK Aborts Rocket Launch to Space Station Due to Wayward Plane

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. — A load resupply goal scheduled to launch to a International Space Station this morning (Nov. 11) was aborted during a final notation due to aircraft drifting in a limited airspace over a launch site during NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility here in Wallops Island, Virginia.

Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket was one notation divided from liftoff when moody controllers abruptly aborted a launch during 7:36 a.m. EST (1236 GMT), when a aircraft entered a limited area.  With a five-minute launch window sealed for a day, Orbital ATK rescheduled a Antares launch for no progressing than 7:14 a.m. EST (1214 GMT) on Sunday (Nov. 12). You can watch a launch live on Space.com commencement and 6:45 a.m. EST (1145 GMT) .

“The launch of Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket carrying a Cygnus load booster has scrubbed for Saturday after an aircraft was rescued in a closeness of a launch pad,” NASA officials said in a statement.

In a post-abort lecture during a Wallops Flight Facility Visitor Center this morning, Orbital ATK officials pronounced a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has dynamic that a tiny personal aircraft entered a limited airspace while drifting about 6 miles (10 kilometers) offshore during an altitude of approximately 500 feet (150 meters).

It is not nonetheless transparent how a aircraft managed to shun showing until a final notation before launch, Orbital ATK officials said. The FAA issues notices to aviators about airspace restrictions good in allege before rocket launches. At this time, Orbital ATK does not know who was piloting a aircraft in question, though a FAA is questioning a incident.

Around 3,500 spectators had collected during a caller core here during NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility to perspective a launch in freezing-cold temperatures, some nearing some-more than 4 hours in allege to secure a best observation spots.

When moody controllers announced that today’s launch would not continue, a throng of vibrating and confused onlookers packaged adult their chairs and blankets and left. Young children cried as their relatives had to explain because they would not get to see a launch today. While some attendees pronounced they designed to lapse tomorrow for another launch attempt, others who had trafficked from out of state pronounced they could not means a oppulance of adhering around an additional day.

“A plane? Seriously? we gathering 6 hours only to watch a qualification fly over a launchpad,” pronounced Michael Vargas, my husband, who had driven to Wallops from Brooklyn, New York overnight to see what he hoped would be his initial rocket launch. “I have to conduct behind currently to class propagandize papers, so we can’t hang around to see it tomorrow. What a bummer.”

Another integrate from Washington, D.C., Paul and Amy, had driven down here with their center school-aged children and told Space.com that they designed to hang around for tomorrow’s launch attempt. They pronounced that this would be their initial launch given NASA’s space convey days. For their children, this will be their initial knowledge saying a rocket launch.

Antares will launch a Cygnus load qualification to a International Space Station to broach some-more than 7,700 lbs. (3,500 kilograms) of food, reserve and scholarship experiments to a Expedition 53 crew. If a goal had launched according to devise today, Cygnus would be nearing during a space hire early Monday morning (Nov. 13). But with today’s launch being scrubbed, it will arrive no progressing than Tuesday (Nov. 14).

Weather prospects for tomorrow’s launch looks promising, with conditions 90 percent auspicious for launch. It will also be about 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than it was this morning, so spectators returning to a launch site tomorrow can count on a reduction wintry and some-more pleasing observation experience.

Editor’s note: This story was updated during 9:42 a.m. EST to enclosed a revised throng distance for a series of spectactors here during NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility. It was updated again during 10:50 a.m. EST with new information about a aircraft, that Orbital ATK officials discussed in a post-abort press conference.

Email Hanneke Weitering during hweitering@space.com or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original essay on Space.com.

Article source: https://www.space.com/38752-orbital-atk-rocket-launch-aborted-by-wayward-plane.html