Weather delays Antares launch again

Antares on pad

An Antares rocket is erected on the launch pad at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia on Thursday. Weather has postponed the launch from Saturday to Sunday. (credit: NASA)

Stormy weather this week on the Mid-Atlantic coast has struck again. Orbital announced Friday morning that it has delayed the launch of its Antares rocket carrying a Cygnus cargo spacecraft another day, from Saturday to Sunday. Storms Thursday evening interfered with launch preparations, resulting in the delay. On Wednesday, Orbital slipped the launch from Friday to Saturday, again after storms disrupted launch preparations.

Launch is now scheduled for Sunday at 12:52 pm EDT (1652 GMT). The one-day delay will also push back Cygnus’s arrival at the station a day, to 6:37 am EDT (1037 GMT) July 16. The good news is that the unsettled weather is coming to an end (although it is fairly cloudy at Wallops around midday Friday), and should not be an issue for this weekend’s launch attempts. Fingers crossed.

2 comments to Weather delays Antares launch again

  • Howard

    Here’s an innovation concept: can they design rockets, and the related infrastructure, to be more “all weather” vehicles? I understand some have more flexibility than others, but sometimes the “boring” ideas are actually the most disruptive.

    • ctod

      Well they can be patient with a multi billion dollar vehicle and protect their investment, or they could double the price and subject it to riskier launch conditions. In comparison, it costs almost nothing to wait an extra day, it costs everything to be inpatient. Doubling the research and design cost doesn’t justify the benefit of arriving on time. Just a note on that, do you think their launch scheduling doesnt account for weather delays? Do you think the supply cargo to the ISS is waiting to be delivered until the very last minute? No. To be concise, the only people effected by a delayed launch are the media and general public.

      An innovative idea would be to abandon rocketry and begin electromagnetic rail launching. its cheaper, more reliable, and could be standardized.

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