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Solar flare delays Kodiak Star launch
Updated: Mon, Sep 24, 2001, 11:05 PM ET (0305 GMT)
Originally Posted: Mon, Sep 24, 2001, 10:06 PM ET (0206 GMT)
Kodiak Launch Complex (Alaska Aerospace) A strong solar flare Monday forced a delay in the launch of an Athena rocket for several days. The Athena 1 was scheduled to launch at 9 pm EDT (0100 GMT Tuesday) from Kodiak, Alaska, but mission managers elected earlier in the day to postpone the launch after a major solar flare was detected shortly before 7 am EDT (1100 GMT). Engineers were concerned that the proton flux from the flare could cause upsets in the booster's guidance system. The launch was tentatively rescheduled for Tuesday, but Spaceflight Now reports that managers decided late Monday to delay it again until at least Thursday because the intensity of the solar storm will keep the proton flux at high levels for some time. The launch, the first orbital mission from the Kodiak Launch Center, has already been postponed several times because of transportation delays related to the terrorist attacks earlier this month as well as weather. A faulty radar that caused the most recent delay Saturday has been repaired. The Athena 1 carries four spacecraft: the Starshine 3 satellite for NASA and three small spacecraft sponsored by the Defense Department.
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