Antares Launch @ Wallop’s Island – Launch Day Update #4

wallops-scrubbedAntares Launch Coverage

Launch Scrubbed For April 17th!!

Launch was scrubbed during the T-12 min hold due to a loss of an umbilical to the 2nd stage of Antares reported @OrbitalSciences on Twitter.

Orbital Sciences Corporation later released a statement: “[We] were hoping to launch the Antares rocket on its maiden flight Wednesday. However, a premature disconnection of an umbilical between the second stage and the tower caused an abort of the countdown just prior to T-10 minutes”.

The abort was called moments before a final polling was to begin concerning the readiness of the launch. The exact cause of failure will be detailed on NASA’s Orbital Sciences Launch update site.

Video of the rocket records the moment of the disconnect. The video was posted by NASASpaceFlight; we’d like to thank them for sharing. In the video you can see the rocket rock slightly and the umbilical falls away. Click the link and then click the image to run the video display.

Earlier in the day Orbital Science reported via twitter that the launch director processed an Orbital waiver to the ground wind constraint of 15 knots. A new level was set to 20 knots. It is not clear if this was the cause of the disconnection. All possibilities are being reviewed, including the increased ground winds.

A scrub turnaround is now taking place, with a likely delay to Friday – which is currently the final opportunity for launch in April.

Orbital Science reported via twitter “The teams are still gathering data. Most probable next attempt will be Friday, April 19 at 1700 EDT. We will provide confirmation soon.” (That’s 5pm eastern for those of you not into military time).

Join the conversation on Twitter by following the hashtag #Antares. Or you can follow @NASA_Wallops and @NASASocial for the latest official updates.

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