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Rogue aircraft forces NASA to scrub Antares launch from Wallops

12 November 2017, 01:54 | Ross Houston

Rogue aircraft forces NASA to scrub Antares launch from Wallops

Rogue aircraft forces NASA to scrub Antares launch from Wallops

It's scheduled to arrive at the station early Monday morning.

First in 2017 mission of Antares rocket seemed to reaching successful final, but in the last minute before igniting its two powerful RD-181 engines, mission control center chose to abort mission and scrub launch.

Officially Cygnus OA-8 (enhanced version) with 3.7 t of payload will be launched tomorrow from same pad at 12:14 UTC.

NASA created a handy map that charts where the rocket will be visible on the horizon after its launch - and when. The supply run marks the second ISS mission for this type of spacecraft, The Washington Post reports.

NASA will livestream mission coverage starting at 1:15 a.m. and launch coverage at 7 a.m.

The culprit, a small personal aircraft that entered the restricted airspace was within a 6 miles (10 kilometers) offshore flying at an altitude of about 500 feet, which could have been unsafe for the lift-off.

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"We were working no issues until an aircraft flew into restricted airspace", the company said on Twitter. "We are now de-tanking and will be ready to go tomorrow morning".

Once in orbit, the Antares rocket will deploy a spacecraft that will deliver supplies and experiments to the International Space Station. The launch time temperature was forecast to be 25-30 degrees.

Little did they know they would be pushing back the launch anyway.

In October 2014, similar Antares rocket launch to ISS exploded in its lift-off stage.

The public is also welcome to view the blastoff up close at the NASA Visitor Center at Wallops or online via NASA TV. Orbital ATK will soon pass into the hands of defense contractor giant Northrop Grumman which has bought it for about $7.8 billion.



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