NASA’s “Opportunity” Mars Rover Launch Delayed Due to Weather

By Keith Cowing
June 28, 2003
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NASA’s “Opportunity” Mars Rover Launch Delayed Due to Weather

Launch of NASA’s “Opportunity” Mars Rover was delayed tonight 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.

The next launch attempt will be on Sunday 29 June 2003. The first launch opportunity is at 11:46:14 PM EDT. The second opportunity is at 12:28:07 AM EDT.

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.