After months of anticipation, ever since NASA kick-started the “Hot Ticket” campaign in early March inviting people to send their name to the sun, the public has been looking forward to today’s launch of the Parker Solar Probe.
But it seems that we’ll have to wait just one more day to watch the spacecraft soar to the skies atop its space ride, the Delta IV Heavy rocket of United Launch Alliance (ULA).
Slated to take place early this morning 4:28 a.m. EDT (08.28 GMT), after already being delayed for about an hour, the big launch has been postponed for tomorrow, NASA announced earlier today.
“The launch of a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket carrying the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft was scrubbed today due to a violation of a launch limit, resulting in a hold,” space agency officials wrote in a short update on the mission.
“There was not enough time remaining in the window to recycle,” NASA pointed out.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, today’s launch window lasted for no more than 65 minutes.
According to Space.com, the space agency made the decision to call off the much-awaited launch just minutes before take-off. The cause of the delay seems to have been a technical glitch with ULA’s rocket — a last-minute anomaly in the helium pressure, notes the media outlet.
“The team received a gaseous helium red pressure alarm that kicked them out,” Mic Woltman of NASA’s Launch Services Program disclosed during a live commentary aired by NASA TV after the launch scrub. “The team is evaluating that and looking at it.”
NASA is now aiming for another pre-dawn launch tomorrow at 3:31 a.m. EDT (07:31 GMT). The Parker Solar Probe will be taking off from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and has another 65-minute launch window to blast off into space.
“The forecast shows a 60 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for launch,” NASA said in the mission update.
This morning’s launch was originally planned for 3:33 a.m. EDT (07:33 GMT), but a problem during the initial countdown made the mission control staff hold at T-4 due to anomalies in data being provided by the rocket, NASA explained.
However, the Parker Solar Probe was cleared for take-off with about an hour delay before NASA eventually scrubbed today’s launch.
If any other problems should arise, the Parker Solar Probe has until August 23 to lift off the ground and start its epic journey to the sun, as NASA has managed to extend the mission’s launch window, initially closing on August 19, the Inquisitr recently reported.