Bad Weather Halts Launch of NASA Mercury Satellite

Tropical Storm Alex caused the delay of NASA's MESSENGER Mercury satellite today. NASA has announced that they will try again at 2:16 a.m. EDT on Tuesday. By that time NASA expects the storm to have cleared out. It has been nearly 10 years since NASA launched a satellite to Mercury, and I can hardly wait to see what images MESSENGER will be sending back in the future.

NASA has waited three decades for a second look at the planet Mercury, but now will have to wait at least one day longer as stormy weather on Monday kept its MESSENGER Mercury satellite on the launch pad. Tropical Storm Alex dumped torrents of rain on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station throughout the day leading up to the scheduled lift-off, though launch weather officers had predicted the storm would move far enough north to allow the Boeing Co Delta 2 rocket to blast off.

But as the countdown approached lift-off, heavy anvil clouds continued to envelop the Cape and NASA scrubbed the launch for the day. NASA said it would try again to launch MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging) at 2:16 a.m. EDT on Tuesday. Weather officers predicted a 70 percent chance of favorable weather. "Tropical Storm Alex should be out of the way tomorrow and improve the situation at least somewhat," said NASA spokesman George Diller.

News source: Reuters

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