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Lightning strike delays Atlas launch
Posted: Sun, Jul 22, 2001, 11:20 AM ET (1520 GMT)
GOES-M illustration (NASA) The Atlas 2 launch of a new weather satellite was delayed by 24 hours late Saturday when lightning struck a nearby launch pad. The Atlas 2A was scheduled to lift off from Pad 36A at Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 3:01 am EDT (0701 GMT) Sunday and place the GOES-M weather satellite into orbit. However, a lightning strike at neighboring Pad 36B led launch officials to delay the launch 24 hours so that they can confirm that the systems on the launch vehicle were not damaged by the strike. The launch has been rescheduled for 3:02 am EDT (0702 GMT) Monday, at the beginning of an 83-minute launch window. The spacecraft is the fifth and final spacecraft in the current Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) series built by Space Systems/Loral. The spacecraft will monitor terrestrial weather from geosynchronous orbit while also keeping an eye on space weather with an x-ray imaging instrument that will be trained on the Sun.
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