Published: Sun, November 12, 2017
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Wallops Island rocket launch postponed

Wallops Island rocket launch postponed

A NASA rocket launch was delayed on Saturday morning thanks to an unexpected visitor: a stray plane. But it was scrubbed after NASA said an aircraft flew into the restricted area. It's scheduled to arrive at the station early Monday morning. The launch has been rescheduled for Sunday, November 12 at 7:14 a.m.

In this handout provided by NASA, the Orbital ATK Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard, stands on launch Pad-0A during sunrise at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on October 16, 2016 Wallops Island, Virginia. It attributed the delay to a "small aircraft" spotted flying at 500 feet about six miles offshore.

"We were working no issues until an aircraft flew into restricted airspace", the aerospace company said on Twitter. "We are now de-tanking and will be ready to go (Sunday) morning".

The cargo-carrying Cygnus spacecraft is expected to reach the space station (ISS) now on Tuesday, Nov. 14 with 7,400 pounds of supplies and scientific equipment, including a high-school student science experiment for studying how peanut plants grow in space.

Should skies remain clear, it was predicted the rocket launched would be seen from as far north as Boston to as far south as SC.

Little did they know they would be pushing back the launch anyway.

There will be live coverage of the launch on NASA TV. And it may go down as one of the last to bear the familiar Orbital logo. Orbital ATK will soon pass into the hands of defense contractor giant Northrop Grumman which has bought it for about $7.8 billion.

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