Tue, Mar 21, 2006
Second Time Lucky?
NASA's second launch attempt of its Space Technology 5
spacecraft is scheduled for Wednesday, March 22 at 9:02 am EST.
Departure of the L-1011 aircraft carrying the Orbital Sciences
Pegasus XL rocket and ST5 is scheduled for 8:04 am EST, from
California's Vandenberg Air Force Base. The Pegasus/ST5 launch will
occur over the Pacific Ocean, 145 miles northwest of
The launch window closes at 10:20 am EST. The weather forecast
on Wednesday is generally favorable, with an 80 percent chance of
meeting launch criteria.
During the first launch attempt on March
15, the Pegasus starboard flight control surface fin
pin did not retract resulting in an aborted attempt. NASA and
Orbital Sciences completed an engineering analysis, but the exact
cause of the malfunction could not be determined. The most likely
reason was the pin retractor system failed to operate due to the
formation of ice.
The mechanism was removed and replaced in case there were other
contributing causes. Steps have also been taken to mitigate
potential water intrusion that could form ice during captive
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