NASA “Opportunity” Mars Rover Launch Delayed Again

By Keith Cowing
June 29, 2003
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NASA “Opportunity” Mars Rover Launch Delayed Again

Once again the launch of NASA’s “Opportunity” Mars Rover has been delayed. This time it is due to concerns with insulation in the rover’s Delta launch vehicle. The earliest attempt to try again will be Monday night.

Launch of NASA’s “Opportunity” Mars Rover was delayed last night due to unacceptable weather conditions.

Tonight’s first launch attempt at 11:56 PM EDT was passed on when conditions for possible toxic clouds in the event of a launch accident (where clouds might drift) were deemed unnacceptable.

The second attempt to launch at 12:38 AM EDT was initially threatened when anvil clouds were sighted. Launch rules do not allow launching through – or within – 10 miles of anvil clouds. Reports from weather aircraft eventually certified that these clouds did not pose a threat under flight rules. However, at the last minute, a weather balloon reported unacceptable wind shear at higher altitudes. This forced the launch to be scrubbed for the evening.

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