Managers Tap Friday Launch Attempt

Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

Orion’s managers for NASA, Lockheed Martin and the United Launch Alliance said they will push on with planning to launch Orion on its flight test Friday morning at 7:05 a.m. EST. The launch window will be 2 hours, 39 minutes, the same time span as Thursday. “Our plan is to fly tomorrow,” said Mark Geyer, Orion program manager.

Fill-and-drain valves on the Delta IV Heavy will be tested throughout the day so the launch team can prevent a mechanical problem like one that came up Thursday. “We’re very confident we’re going to be able to exonerate the equipment,” said Dan Collins, chief operating officer of United Launch Alliance. The valves that failed to close properly late in the countdown allow liquid hydrogen to flow into the three core boosters of the first stage. Normal operation calls for the valves to stay open during the fueling and shut tight a few minutes before liftoff to seal the fuel tank.

Although Orion didn’t get off the ground today to begin its first uncrewed flight test, the officials said a great deal was learned about the systems during the countdown as the spacecraft went on internal battery power and saw other changes through the lead-up to launch and then through the three attempts at different points in the launch window. “The spacecraft worked extremely well,” said Mike Hawes, Lockheed Martin’s program manager for Orion. Lockheed Martin built Orion for NASA and is operating this mission. “The systems did just like the simulators told us they’d do.”

The weather for Friday is forecast to be a bit worse than Thursday, though still favorable. Meteorologists are calling for a 60 percent chance of acceptable conditions.


13 thoughts on “Managers Tap Friday Launch Attempt”

  1. This is a Great Omen! HAIL COLUMBIA, first Space Shuttle attempt scrubbed. Second Attempt was flawless and motivated a generation of explorers to great heights. 30+ years of one fantastic flying machine. If Orion does 30+ years then can only be a sparkling success. Cannot imagine Earth without the ISS or Hubble. One can only imagine the memories that Orion will bring to a new generation

  2. We heard about a boat being the cause of one of the launch holds today. How is it that these vessels can wonder into these no-go zones? What steps are taken that try to prevent this from happening in the first place?

    thanks in advance,


    PS- may tomorrow morning’s launch be swift and successful

  3. Thanks to the Orion bloggers for keeping us informed here, keep up the great work. Keeping fingers crossed for the Friday launch attempt. Kids, TRY this at home: you can build and fly your own rocket, go to your local hobby shop and get yourself a model rocket kit and launcher set and discover the fun of rocketry for yourself and maybe learn how to design your own someday. (Some adult supervision required.)

  4. In class where learning about credible websites this is credible. Can’t wait for it to launch!!!!!!!

  5. Waited up until quite late Thursday night here in Hobart, Tasmania to see this bird fly on NASA TV. A bit disappointed about the scrub but am really looking forward to tonight’s next attempt. Keeping the fingers crossed for a safe and successful launch. Best wishes and Go Orion!!

  6. Why does the Orion launch have a launch window? Given the flight profile, it seems that the mission can commence at any time.

  7. It is very unfortunate that orion couldn’t launch today.But I am still looking forward to seeing orion launch tomorrow!!

    Sydney age 8

  8. Finally the NASA leadership has gone back to the 1960’s way of listening to the engineers FIRST rather than the 80’s/90’s/00’s of complying with the accountant’s and politicians wishes of ‘launch now or it breaks the budget’. NASA made a brave and intelligent decision today, better to get it right the second time than to fail pushing for uncertain success on the first attempt.

    Good luck tomorrow or Saturday or later on NASA, you make us proud!

  9. My son is 9 years old, I have taught him the same as you guys, do it right!
    It does not matter how long it takes, make sure it is right.
    Godspeed, and use those brains we know you have.
    Thanks for making me proud.

  10. I was excited to find this web site. I wanted to thank you for your time for this wonderful read!!
    I definitely loved every bit of it and I have you bookmarked to see new things on your site.

Leave a Reply to Bill Brandley Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *