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12 December 2016

CYGNSS launch aborted for today

Stargazer just before take-off

Due to a malfunction of a hydraulic pump associated with the release mechanism of the Pegasus rocket (not a problem with the aircraft own flight systems) the launch was aborted for today and the Stargazer safely returned to Cape Canaveral.

The malfunction was detected only after take-off, 25 minutes prior to the first launch attempt. The Stargazer circled the established launch circuit for a second time while both ground control and airborne engineering teams tried to overcome the problem and make the hydraulic pump work again.

Unfortunately it was not possible to proceed with the launch and the aircraft returned to the departure base with Pegasus rocket still attached under its belly. If Orbital ATK teams are able to resolve the malfunction in due time, another launch will be scheduled for tomorrow at the very same hour. The weather conditions which also posed some difficulties today are expected to improve tomorrow.

Despite everybody's disappointment, it was a great opportunity to get wonderful views of the airborne L-1011 that was chased by a NASA's F/A-18.

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