Space

Orion EFT-1 launch scrubbed

Orion EFT-1 launch scrubbed
Artist's concept of EFT-1 in flight (Image: NASA)
Artist's concept of EFT-1 in flight (Image: NASA)
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Orion being prepared for launch (Image: NASA/Bill Ingalls)
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Orion being prepared for launch (Image: NASA/Bill Ingalls)
Artist's concept of EFT-1 in flight (Image: NASA)
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Artist's concept of EFT-1 in flight (Image: NASA)
Orion spacecraft heat shield at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (Image: NASA/Kim Shiflett)
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Orion spacecraft heat shield at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (Image: NASA/Kim Shiflett)
Gantry rollback of EFT-1 (Image: United Launch Alliance)
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Gantry rollback of EFT-1 (Image: United Launch Alliance)
Orion awaiting launch (Image: NASA)
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Orion awaiting launch (Image: NASA)
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NASA's return to manned spaceflight was delayed today as the scheduled launch of the Orion EFT-1 mission was cancelled due to a series of mishaps. Originally scheduled to lift off at 7:05 am EST from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy booster, setbacks due to the weather and equipment problems forced mission control to put off the flight beyond the launch window, which ended at 9:44.

According to NASA, the beginning of the EFT-1 mission was scrubbed due to minor problems in conditioning the upper stage and reports of a boat wandering into the range over which the rocket would fly, then a sudden rise in local winds that exceeded safety parameters, followed by a pair of fill and drain valves malfunctioning. Though the space agency is confident about resolving the technical problems, there was too little time remaining today to allow the four and a half hour flight to be carried out and still leave enough daylight for recovery operations at the splashdown zone.

When finally launched, the Orion capsule, which is not carrying a crew, will carry out a two-orbit flight around the Earth, which will take it to an altitude of 3,600 mi (5,800 km) before returning for a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean off Baja California, where the USS Anchorage and USNS Salvor are standing by to pick it up.

The purpose of EFT-1 is to test the flight systems, computers, and other technology in anticipation of the first astronaut-carrying flight set for some time in 2018.

Weather permitting, a second attempt could be made tomorrow or Saturday.

Source: NASA

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4 comments
JDS
You would think after all these years Nasa could get something right.
Erg
They dont control the wind JDS. I think spotting issues like the valves IS getting things right.
Erg
Robin Peterson
This is the first flight of NASA's new Orion capsule, which is the replacement for the Space Shuttle in terms of manned human spaceflight. This flight was uncrewed, but it represents an important milestone in testing the capsule for humans.
Noel K Frothingham
Okay, JDS, YOU show us how it's done!