This article is over 8 years old

News

NASA’s New Orion Spacecraft Will Have To Wait Another Day To Fly

Originally scheduled to launch at 6:05 a.m., but because of wind and technical issues, NASA has delayed the launch to later in the morning and that window has now closed.

8:30 a.m. update from CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA’s new Orion spacecraft will have to wait another day to fly.

Wind gusts and a sticky rocket valve forced the Cape Canaveral launch team to call off Thursday’s attempt to send Orion into orbit on its first-ever test flight.

NASA promised to try again Friday.

Orion is how NASA hopes to one day send astronauts to Mars. This inaugural flight, while just 4½ hours, will send the unmanned capsule 3,600 miles into space.

High winds twice halted Thursday morning’s countdown with less than four minutes remaining. Then a valve in the unmanned Delta IV rocket malfunctioned at the three-minute mark. Launch controllers scrambled to check all of these so-called “fill and drain” valves in the three first-stage booster engines. But time ran out.


Yesterday evening at CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) —NASA is on a high not felt since the space shuttle days, with the imminent debut of its Orion spacecraft.

Shuttle veterans, in fact, are leading the charge in Thursday’s two-orbit, four-and-a-half-hour test flight. The mission is meant to shake out the Orion capsule before astronauts climb aboard — eventually, perhaps, for Mars.

An unmanned rocket is scheduled to blast off with Orion at 7:05 a.m. from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Good launch weather is forecast.

Orion is set to fly farther than any human-rated spacecraft since the Apollo moon program. It will aim for a distance of 3,600 miles, more than 14 times higher than the International Space Station. That’s so the capsule can re-enter the atmosphere at top speed over the Pacific.

Today in Houston Newsletter Signup
We're in the process of transitioning services for our Today in Houston newsletter. If you'd like to sign up now, fill out the form below and we will add you as soon as we finish the transition. **Please note** If you are already signed up for the newsletter, you do not need to sign up again. Your subscription will be migrated over.