February 5, 2009

NASA satellite launch is again postponed

The U.S. space agency has, for the second time this week, postponed the launch of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather satellite.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said the launch of the NOAA-N Prime weather satellite was delayed Thursday morning when a payload air conditioning compressor at the launch pad failed. The unit provides cool, dry air inside the spacecraft prior to launch.

Though unlikely, the payload team needs additional time to be assured that an unacceptable level of hydrocarbons have not been introduced into the spacecraft environment, NASA said in a statement.

The launch was also postponed Wednesday morning when a launch pad gaseous nitrogen pressurization system failed.

A new launch time was set for 5:22 a.m. EST Friday (2:22 a.m. PST) at Vandenburg Air Force Base in California.