Orion launch scrubbed after string of delays

Fueling begins for Orion test flight (Source: NASA)
Fueling begins for Orion test flight (Source: NASA)

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL (WAFF) - Crews diligently, patiently waited for openings in the launch window for Orion's flight test at Kennedy Space Center Thursday morning.

However, a series of technical errors, high wind conditions, and even a boat that was thought to have ventured past the launch area perimeter ultimately resulted in the launch being scrubbed shortly before the time window closed at 8:44 a.m. CT.

Fueling began around 2:30 a.m. CT. The United Launch Alliance began fueling the Delta IV Heavy rocket with liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen.

As dawn broke over the Florida coast, a cargo ship was spotted in what was initially believed to be a restricted area.

Ultimately, as the ULA's Dan Collins told us Thursday, the boat was in a safe spot. But that was not the last time the launch sequence was stopped by a controller's transmission of "Hold, hold hold."

"Wind scrubbed the first two attempts," Collins reported. "The third scrub was a valve."

Specifically, a cold valve affected by the extremely frigid hydrogen used in fueling the the Delta IV boosters.

"The rocket told us it wasn't ready to go. We are making sure we have a happy rocket to fly," said Collins.

The rocket is now scheduled to liftoff from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force station in Florida at 6:05 a.m. Friday morning.

The rocket that was built in Decatur, Alabama is currently the largest rocket in America. It will launch Orion on its first flight to test the spacecraft's critical systems.

After circling Earth twice, Orion will splashdown in the Pacific Ocean at the end of the flight.

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