Status Report

Launch Advisory: AURA Launch Postponed

By SpaceRef Editor
July 14, 2004
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The launch of NASA’s Aura spacecraft atop a Boeing Delta
II rocket was scrubbed this morning due to an issue with one
of the two batteries on the second stage of the Delta II
launch vehicle. At approximately three minutes before the
scheduled liftoff time, as the batteries were being
transferred to internal power, the battery current level
dropped below prescribed limits, triggering a launch hold.

Engineers and mission managers are assessing the situation
and will meet at 6 p.m. EDT (3 p.m. PDT) today to decide a
date for the next launch attempt. Two options are being
considered. The first is to attempt a launch on Thursday
morning, July 15, during a three-minute launch window that
opens at 6:01:59 a.m. EDT (3:01:59 a.m. PDT). The second
option under consideration is to stand down until Saturday,
July 17, due to range conflicts at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Weather is a concern for a launch attempt on Thursday
morning. The current forecast calls for only a 60 percent
probability of acceptable weather conditions. The primary
concerns are for thick clouds and the possibility of
triggered lightning in the launch area due to the remnants of
daytime thunderstorm activity in Southern California. In
addition, Tropical Storm Blas, off the coast of Baja
California, could prevent a P3 aircraft from flying to its
launch support position. The P3 relays telemetry from the
launch vehicle back to the launch team at Vandenberg.

The next launch update will be issued following the mission
management team meeting this afternoon.

An Aura recorded launch status for the news media is
available at: 805/734-2693.

SpaceRef staff editor.