NASA Postpones ULA Atlas 5 Launch
[Satellite TODAY 08-24-12] NASA has postponed the launch of two Radiation Belt Storm Probe spacecraft after a malfunction with a tracking system occurred late in the mission’s final countdown, NASA confirmed Aug. 24.
The United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas 5 rocket carrying the two satellites is now slated to launch early Saturday morning. The $686 million Radiation Belt Storm Probes mission is a two-year project to study the radiation environment around the Earth.
“The launch countdown was going well until our team spotted a frequency drift in the tracking beacon used by the Air Force’s Eastern Range to track the rocket after liftoff. That is a mandatory safety item so that we could track the vehicle in flight,” NASA Launch Director Tim Dunn said in a statement. “It certainly was a situation we wish we didn’t have, but we wanted to err on the side of conservatism.”