The Deep Space Climate Observatory mission, or DSCOVR, was set to be sent into space yesterday but the launch was scrubbed because of a problem with the radar.
Air Force tracking radar went down. Launch postponed to same time tomorrow.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 8, 2015
The launch, which was a collaboration between NOAA, NASA, and the United States Air Force, was supposed to come at sunset on Sunday in Cape Canaveral, Florida, but the call came in just two minutes and 26 seconds before launch time to “Hold, hold, hold.”
The issue with the radar proved a safety hazard because, “range safety officers need to be able to destroy the rocket in case it goes off course during ascent,” according to NBC News.
DSCOVR is important to scientists because it could provide “early warnings for potentially hazardous solar outbursts” and also “studying climate impacts.”
The mission was first suggested in 1998 by then Vice President, Al Gore. Gore thought it would be a way to “provide real-time views of Earth’s full sunlit disk,” according to NBC News.
Gore “was fascinated by the Apollo views of Earth from space and thought that having a camera pointed at our planet might cause us to look at it a bit differently,” according to NPR.
The spacecraft ended up being “put into storage” George W. Bush took office, and the mission put off. It’s been 17 years in the making, or 17 years and a couple days now. The team had the launch scrubbed as soon as they realized there was an issue with “the Air Force’s tracking radar system in Florida.”
The $340 million project had many people excited, including Gore.
When Gore found out the delay of another day, he responded, “After 17 years, that’s nothing.”
DSCOVR launch delayed due to AF radar malfunction. May launch later this week. After 17 years, that’s nothing.
— Al Gore (@algore) February 9, 2015
Due to poor weather conditions, the launch will not take place until Tuesday at the earliest.
Want to watch the launch? NASA has a live feed of the event, accessible on their site.
— NASA (@NASA) February 8, 2015
While yesterday’s launch was scrubbed, many are anticipating even more now, the entry into space of the DSCOVR and what it will tell be able to tell us about our climate.
[Photo Courtesy of NASA_Goddard]