CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA’s new Orion spacecraft will have to wait another day to fly.
Wind gusts and a sticky rocket valve forced the Cape Canaveral launch team to call off Thursday’s attempt to send Orion into orbit on its first-ever test flight.
NASA promised to try again Friday.
Scrub. Today's planned launch of #Orion is postponed due to valve issue. Our next possible launch window opens at 7:05am ET Friday
— NASA (@NASA) December 4, 2014
Orion is how NASA hopes to one day send astronauts to Mars. This inaugural flight, while just 4½ hours, will send the unmanned capsule 3,600 miles into space.
High winds twice halted Thursday morning’s countdown with less than four minutes remaining. Then a valve in the unmanned Delta IV (four) rocket malfunctioned at the three-minute mark. Launch controllers scrambled to check all of these so-called “fill and drain” valves in the three first-stage booster engines. But time ran out.