Boeing Delta II Launch of NASA's MER-A Delayed Again for Weather

Boeing [NYSE: BA] and NASA officials have delayed today's launch attempt of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover-A aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., due to the continued presence of thunderstorms, clouds and winds during the launch window.

The U.S. Air Force weather officer expects the weather to improve by tomorrow with a 70 percent chance of favorable conditions for another launch attempt.

Tomorrow's launch is scheduled at an instantaneous window of 1:58:47 p.m. EDT. A second window exists, if necessary, at 2:36:49 p.m. EDT.

A Delta II rocket is scheduled to launch "Spirit," the name selected and announced yesterday by NASA for the MER-A rover. The name selected for MER-B is "Opportunity."

NASA held a "Name the Rovers" contest prior to the launch, which was sponsored by Lego Co., and the Planetary Society. The names "Spirit" and "Opportunity" were submitted by a 9-year-old girl named Sofi Collis, who was born in Siberia and adopted by a family in Arizona. In her essay, which was selected from nearly 10,000 entries, she recalled her time in an orphanage when she would look up at the sky, and the stars gave her spirit. She also added that she is grateful for the opportunity to grow up in America.

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