Range safety concerns have delayed the launch of a Boeing [NYSE: BA] Delta II expendable launch vehicle carrying the ARGOS spacecraft for the U.S. Air Force.
Officials scrubbed this morning's launch after predictions indicated the current wind direction could cause the solid rocket nozzle closures or covers to land on base. The nozzle covers are used on the three air-lit solid rocket motors to protect them during liftoff. The Delta II has a total of nine solid rocket motors, six of which are ignited at liftoff. The remaining three are ignited during flight.
Officials are proceeding with plans for a 2:39 a.m. launch tomorrow, Monday, Feb. 8. The launch team will evaluate weather conditions and make a final decision later today.
The ARGOS launch has two NASA-sponsored secondary payloads, the Ørsted satellite for Denmark and the SUNSAT micro-satellite for South Africa.
There will be a live broadcast of the launch beginning at 2:30 a.m. PST through spacecraft separation on: GE 2C, transponder 6, located at 85 degrees west, uplink frequency 6045 (vertical), downlink frequency 3820 (horizontal).