Athena rocket launch scrubbed for tonight

From: Jonathan T Wojack (
Date: Mon Sep 24 2001 - 16:11:04 EDT

  • Next message: Paul Gabriel: "solar flare"

    MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2001
    SCRUB. Tonight's launch of the Athena rocket has been postponed after a
    massive solar flare erupted from the sun earlier today. The powerful
    space storm could disrupt the rocket's guidance computer during flight,
    so officials had no choice but to delay the Kodiak Star mission yet
    "The proton flux is three times that is allowable for launch," NASA
    spokesman George Diller said. "The concern is it would cause a data upset
    in the rocket's guidance system." 
    The flare occurred at 1038 GMT (6:38 a.m. EDT) today. A coronal mass
    ejection is headed for Earth, likely causing geomagnetic storms, space
    weather scientists announced. 
    Liftoff has been tentatively rescheduled for Tuesday if the proton level
    decreases. But scientists say it could be Wednesday or Thursday before
    conditions are again acceptable for launch. Mission managers are working
    on longer launch window for upcoming attempts that would extend from 5:30
    to 8 p.m. Alaska Time (9:30 p.m. to 12 a.m. EDT; 0130-0400 GMT). 
    The launch weather forecast for Tuesday calls for an 80 percent chance of
    meeting the liftoff rules in Alaska. The forecast worsens some on
    SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2001
    With a troublesome tracking radar now working, a Lockheed Martin Athena
    rocket will make a third try at launching from Alaska on Monday evening,
    but bad weather could again spoil liftoff plans. 
    Officials announced late today that Monday's target launch time will be
    5:30 p.m. Alaska Time (9:30 p.m. EDT; 0130 GMT Tuesday). The duration of
    the launch window will be set on Monday morning. 
    However, there is just a 30 percent chance of weather permitting the
    rocket to blast off Monday because of clouds and rain. The forecast is
    much improved for Tuesday, should the mission slip again. 
    Lousy weather forced Friday's countdown to be called off hours before
    launch time. Weather conditions were perfect on Saturday only to have a
    technical glitch with a downrange tracking radar cause a scrub. The
    launch team took Sunday off. 
    Lockheed Martin says the radar problem has now been resolved. Technicians
    have successfully repaired and retested the radar system, which is needed
    to track the Athena rocket as it travels downrange. 
    Jonathan T. Wojack       
    39.706d N   75.683d W      
    4 hours behind UT (-4)
    Juno offers FREE or PREMIUM Internet access for less!
    Join Juno today!  For your FREE software, visit:
    Unsubscribe from SeeSat-L by sending a message with 'unsubscribe'
    in the SUBJECT to

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Sep 24 2001 - 16:13:35 EDT