Launch of Second Mars Probe Delayed Due To Delta II Glitch
The launch of the second Mars Exploration Rovers, named “Opportunity,” aboard a Boeing [NYSE: BA] Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla., has been delayed until “no earlier” than June 28 from an original launch date of June 26. That is the word from the National Aeronautics and Space Agency. The launch team decided to postpone the mission to replace a band of protective cork insulation on the Delta II first stage. The location is below the forward attach points of the strap-on solid rocket boosters. Inspections of a second band located higher on the first stage are underway. The probe is scheduled to reach Mars around Jan. 25, 2004. The first Mars Exploration Rover was launched June 10.