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Delta 4 launch delayed
Updated: Wed, Nov 20, 2002, 7:29 AM ET (1229 GMT)
Originally Posted: Tue, Nov 19, 2002, 7:45 PM ET (0045 GMT)
Delta 4 booster on pad awaiting launch (Boeing) The inaugural launch of Boeing's Delta 4 booster was scrubbed Tuesday evening after a series of problems prevented the booster from lifting off during its 70-minute launch window. The Delta 4 was scheduled to lift off at 5:39 pm EST (2239 GMT), but a preplanned hold at T-5 minutes was extended twice to account for problems with a swing arm on the gantry, the C-band communications system on the booster's upper stage, and a problem with ground equipment used to top off the upper stage. The countdown was started once from the T-5 minute point at 6:04 pm EST (2304 GMT), only to be stopped at T-2:51 when ground winds exceeded safety limits. The countdown was reset to T-5 minutes and started again at 6:30 pm EST (2330 GMT), only to be held again at T-2:22 when a liquid oxygen fill valve failed to close properly. With no chance to correct the problem before the launch window closed at 6:49 pm EST (2349 GMT), launch officials decided to scrub the launch, rescheduling the launch for the same time Wednesday, November 20. If the Delta 4 does not lift off Wednesday, it may have to wait until early next week because of the shuttle launch scheduled for Friday night.
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