The launch of a United Launch Alliance Delta II carrying NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite was scrubbed today due to an issue with the water suppression system that is used to flow water on the launch pad to dampen the acoustic energy during launch.
Pending the outcome of troubleshooting, the launch is rescheduled for Wednesday, July 2 from Space Launch Complex-2 at Vandenberg Air Force Station, Calif., The launch time is 2:56 a.m. PDT at the opening of a 30-second window. The forecast for July 2 shows a 100 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for the launch.
Today’s launch attempt was scrubbed because of a failure in a Vandenberg Air Force Base Space Launch Complex 2 pad water system. The system provides sound suppression to dampen acoustic waves at liftoff and protects a launch pad flame duct. The countdown was halted at T-46 seconds.
The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) spacecraft is on external power and the Delta II rocket first stage liquid oxygen is being offloaded. Both the spacecraft and rocket are in a safe configuration.
Managers and engineers are assessing the issue to determine the cause of the failure and when they next can attempt to launch OCO-2.
NASA Launch Manager Tim Dunn has polled his launch team to confirm NASA is “go” for an on-time launch. The Delta II rocket and OCO-2 spacecraft are ready for flight and weather continues to cooperate.
This is a 10-minute hold. In a few minutes, Launch Director Don Malin of United Launch Alliance and NASA Launch Manager Tim Dunn will check with their teams to confirm that the rocket, spacecraft and all the necessary ground systems are ready for launch.
The OCO-2 spacecraft is “go” to transfer to internal power.
The countdown has resumed. There’s one more planned hold coming up at T-4 minutes.
The OCO-2 mission has special meaning to NASA’s Launch Services Program, as we have dedicated it to one of our LSP teammates, Laurie Walls. Laurie began her career more than 30 years ago as a thermal engineer for McDonnell Douglas in Huntsville, Alabama, supporting NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. She moved to Florida in 1985 and shortly thereafter became a civil servant working on the Space Shuttle Program’s return-to-flight effort after Challenger. In 1998, Laurie joined the newly formed Launch Services Program as one of the founding members of the flight analysis group. She served in LSP as the thermal discipline expert until her untimely death last month. Laurie worked thermal issues for numerous NASA Delta II and Atlas V missions, and provided key thermal support for both Delta II Heavy development and Atlas V certification.
Laurie was an integral member of the Launch Services Program family and she was truly dedicated to NASA and the LSP team. She will be greatly missed. We honor Laurie with a special memorial placed on the Space Launch Complex 2 umbilical tower, and we thank United Launch Alliance for helping to make this happen.
Countdown clocks are holding at the T-15 minute mark. This is a routine hold scheduled to last 20 minutes.
Up next is a check of the rocket’s first- and second-stage engine nozzles, which are put through a pattern of movements, called “slews,” to check their steering capabilities. The second-stage engine is tested first, followed by the first-stage engine.
A built-in hold in the countdown is coming up at the T-15 minute mark.
The countdown is proceeding smoothly at exactly one hour until liftoff.
Liquid oxygen has been fully loaded into the Delta II first stage, completing the fueling process. The countdown continues to go well and liftoff remains scheduled for 2:56 a.m. PDT, 5:56 a.m. EDT.