Science

Launch aborted as countdown hit zero

Start-up rocket company Astra again delayed its first launch from Cape Canaveral. There was a brief hold, but the countdown resumed within the three hour launch window – only to be aborted right at ignition. The issue was with data transmission. Controllers worked to recycle for another attempt with in Monday’s three hour window, but scrubbed with 45 minutes remaining. But the delay is not necessarily a bad thing according to Don Platt of Florida Tech.“It’s useful to show that the system has capabilities to understand that there is a problem and to keep itself safe. And in some ways it’s probably good that they were able to catch a potential problem,” Platt said.But it also shows that Astra, while cutting a new path with a smaller, cheaper rockets that can turn around quickly, is still young. The entire operation is only 6 years old.“This is the third different day they have tried to launch so there certainly are growing pains,” said Platt.Some along the beach just south of the Cape launch pad came out to see the new, little rocket blast off. At just over 40 feet, it’s much smaller than most rockets launched here but it does not diminish it’s importance.“For me it’s important. My grandfather worked on Mercury and Gemini and then my dad was involved with the space shuttle program. So just seeing us to continue to search into space and all the experiments that they can do to improve our lives – it’s exciting,” said Don Vaughan of Titusville.An excitement that will have to wait for another day.

Start-up rocket company Astra again delayed its first launch from Cape Canaveral.

There was a brief hold, but the countdown resumed within the three hour launch window – only to be aborted right at ignition.

The issue was with data transmission. Controllers worked to recycle for another attempt with in Monday’s three hour window, but scrubbed with 45 minutes remaining.

But the delay is not necessarily a bad thing according to Don Platt of Florida Tech.

“It’s useful to show that the system has capabilities to understand that there is a problem and to keep itself safe. And in some ways it’s probably good that they were able to catch a potential problem,” Platt said.

But it also shows that Astra, while cutting a new path with a smaller, cheaper rockets that can turn around quickly, is still young. The entire operation is only 6 years old.

“This is the third different day they have tried to launch so there certainly are growing pains,” said Platt.

Some along the beach just south of the Cape launch pad came out to see the new, little rocket blast off. At just over 40 feet, it’s much smaller than most rockets launched here but it does not diminish it’s importance.

“For me it’s important. My grandfather worked on Mercury and Gemini and then my dad was involved with the space shuttle program. So just seeing us to continue to search into space and all the experiments that they can do to improve our lives – it’s exciting,” said Don Vaughan of Titusville.

An excitement that will have to wait for another day.

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