Launching a human-made object into space is a complicated and difficult endeavor, so we won’t fault Orbital Sciences or NASA for scrubbing the launch of the Antares rocket a few times so far. They won’t let things like faulty ethernet cables and weather stop them. They’ve set another launch time of 5PM EDT today. You can watch the live coverage right here starting at 4:30PM.
Update: Success! The Antares launch went off without a hitch today as scheduled. Its mass simulator payload is orbit as are its secondary payloads “Alexander”, “Graham”, and “Bell”, micro phone satellites built around Nexus 1 Android phones. Follow their mission at phonesat.org.
Wednesday’s launch was canceled due to “a premature separation of the launch pad umbilical that mates to Antares,” and it was then pushed back to “no earlier than Friday, April 19.” They decided to wait until Saturday for more favorable weather conditions, which they didn’t get. High winds caused them to scrub the launch again, and to reschedule for today at 5PM EDT.
The main cause for concern about today’s launch is surface winds on the platform, though the weather is looking good with an 80 percent chance of being favorable for a launch from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia.
NASA TV coverage of the launch will begin at 4:30PM EDT, and you’ll be able to watch it right here, and don’t forget that if you’re on the east coast you can probably just look to the sky in the direction of Virginia and catch a glimpse. Here’s the video:
Just in case the launch gets scrubbed again, and you really want to see a rocket taking off, here’s archive footage of NASA’s first shuttle launch back in 1981. We promise it takes off.
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