Officials have delayed the Boeing Delta II launch of the GeoLITE spacecraft by 24 hours to no earlier than Friday, May 18, with the launch window of 1:07 p.m. EDT as a precautionary measure so the launch team can replace three flexible hoses on the rocket's first stage engine.
During testing of another Delta II first-stage engine at the Boeing Rocketdyne factory in California, a leak was found in a similar hose. The delay will allow the launch team at Cape Canaveral to replace suspect lines and test them prior to flight.
Friday's mission is scheduled to take place during a 79-minute launch window that opens at 1:07 p.m. EDT and closes at 2:26 p.m. EDT. The Air Force weather officers have reported a 20 percent chance of weather in the local area impacting a launch attempt on either Friday or Saturday.
GeoLITE, or the Geosynchronous Lightweight Technology Experiment, is a TRW-built spacecraft that will be operated by the National Reconnaissance Office once in orbit. The satellite supports a laser communications experiment and an operational UHF communications mission.