Engines? Go. Communications? Go. Sailboat in the area? Abort the launch.
Orbital Sciences’ Antares rocket was supposed to launch last night at 6:45 p.m. EDT, but one sailboat ruined those plans. NASA halted the countdown in an attempt to clear the area after the sailboat entered it, but decided to cancel the launch.
The sailboat had entered an area that was down range of Antares expected trajectory if it would have lifted off. These areas need to be clear of any boats in case of a malfunction.
The next launch attempt has been rescheduled for tonight at 6:22 p.m. EDT. Weather conditions should be fine with a weather forecast at 95% favorable. Weather permitting, residents along the East Coast from Massachusetts to South Carolina should be able to see the rocket launch.
Check out the map below to see which areas will possibly be able to see the rocket launch. This blog post from NASA shows what the launch could look like for several major cities in the area.
Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus capsule will deliver 5,000 pounds of gear and experiments to the International Space Station early next month. Tonight’s launch will mark the third of eight planned supply runs by Orbital Sciences. The capsule should arrive at the ISS on November 2, provided tonight’s launch isn’t scrubbed by an errant sailboat.
Image credit: NASA