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May 8, 2009

Rocket launch from Virginia scrubs a third time

This time the countdown got to within 2 minutes and 15 seconds of liftoff, but a low-voltage reading from somewhere inside the Minotaur 1 rocket or its payload last night aborted the count at about 10:43 p.m. It was the third time this week attempts to send five small satellites into orbit from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia fell short. The first two attempts were halted by bad weather.

Launch managers decided not to try a fourth time Saturday evening. The tracking facilities at Wallops will now be transitioned to assist with the planned launch of the space shuttle Atlantis from Cape Canaveral in Florida. That launch is planned for 2 p.m. Monday. The Atlantis crew is headed for the Hubble Space Telescope for a week of repairs and upgrades.

The Minotaur 1 launch, if successful, would be only the third flight to orbit from the NASA launch center on Virginia's Eastern Shore. The payload includes an Air Force TacSat-3 technology experiment, a NASA biological experiment and three "pico-satellites" built by university and commercial owners.

If skies are clear, the Minotaur launches from Virginia can be seen for hundreds of miles.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 11:09 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Sky Watching


I was all excited to watch the launch online. So close, down to just over two minutes.
If I have time, I will try and watch again tonight.

FR: Better make a new plan. They will not try again tonight (Saturday).

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff

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