‘Valiant Troubleshooting in the Air’

NASA Launch Manager Tim Dunn of the Launch Services Program¬†recapped today’s launch attempt. The hydraulic system problem developed en route, after takeoff, in the last 25 minutes prior to the initial 8:30 a.m. launch time. The hydraulic system in question was not for the L-1011 aircraft itself, but for the system that allows the Pegasus XL rocket to release from the aircraft. That system was not meeting its prescribed pressures, indicating a problem with the hydraulic pump.

“The team did a lot of valiant troubleshooting in the air,” Dunn said. “Everyone wanted to have another launch attempt today, so we continued right up until the L-4 minute point.”

Weather also posed problems at times during the countdown, Dunn pointed out.

“The pilots flew around, under and over a lot of precipitation and bad clouds,” he said.

Should the team resolve the hydraulic pump issue in time for a Tuesday¬†morning launch attempt, the launch window is the same as today’s, and weather is improved, with an 80 percent “go” forecast.