Rocket launch delayed

2009-10-27 16:04
Washington - Nasa on Tuesday delayed the launch of the Ares I-X, a test rocket space officials hope will replace the aging space shuttle fleet and one day take astronauts to the Moon and Mars.

Nasa television reported that the launch had been pushed back for a second time because of inclement weather after an earlier half-hour delay, and that the anticipated launch time is now 09:24 (13:24 GMT).

A four-hour launch window was to have begun at 08:00 (12:00 GMT) for the launch of Ares from Florida's Kennedy Space Centre.

Officials hope that the prototype rocket will be the next generation of US spacecraft, and the test flight on Tuesday is meant to give engineers important data in fine-tuning its design.

But bad weather could thwart the launch. The forecast on Tuesday shows only a 40% chance of favourable weather, although Nasa said it needs just 15 minutes of good weather to launch.

If poor weather scuttles the launch, the next test flight window will be on Wednesday, when the forecast is 60% favourable.

The flight will be delayed until next month if bad weather persists.
Read more on:    space

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