Nasa pushes back Orion launch

2014-12-04 20:19
NASA's Orion spacecraft, atop a United Launch Alliance Delta 4-Heavy rocket, sits on the launch pad before its first scheduled unmanned orbital test flight from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. (Chris O'Meara, AP)

NASA's Orion spacecraft, atop a United Launch Alliance Delta 4-Heavy rocket, sits on the launch pad before its first scheduled unmanned orbital test flight from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. (Chris O'Meara, AP)

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Cape Canaveral - Nasa's new Orion spacecraft will have to wait another day to fly.

Wind gusts and a sticky rocket valve forced the Cape Canaveral launch team to call off Thursday's attempt to send Orion into orbit on its first-ever test flight.

Nasa promised to try again on Friday.

Orion is how Nasa hopes to one day send astronauts to Mars. This inaugural flight, while just 4½ hours, will send the unmanned capsule 5 800km into space.

High winds twice halted Thursday morning's countdown with less than four minutes remaining. Then a valve in the unmanned Delta IV (four) rocket malfunctioned at the three-minute mark.

Launch controllers scrambled to check all of these so-called "fill and drain" valves in the three first-stage booster engines. But time ran out.

Read more on:    nasa  |  mars  |  us  |  space

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