After spending most of today troubleshooting a problem that prevented the Taurus XL rocket from blasting off early this morning, NASA officials decided to delay the launch until at least Friday.
Liftoff of the four-stage rocket built by Orbital Sciences Corp. is now shooting for about 2:09 a.m. Friday from Space Launch Complex 576E, officials announced this afternoon.
Just before 2 a.m. today, with less than 10 minutes before the rocket was scheduled to lift off, ground controllers spotted a glitch before transitioning Taurus to internal power.
A 47-second launch window - essentially just one shot a day - left no time for the launch team to troubleshoot the problem and proceed with blastoff.
"The team is still trying to work out what the issue was," Chuck Dovale, deputy director of NASA's launch services program, said shortly after the postponement.
This afternoon, officials confirmed they were aiming for liftoff Friday at the earliest.
"Engineers from NASA and Orbital Sciences Corp. continue to troubleshoot a technical issue that arose during Wednesday's initial launch attempt," NASA said. "The target launch date also will ensure personnel get the required rest before entering another countdown."
The tight timeframe to launch the rocket is related to the need to place the satellite into a precise orbit. Glory will join a series of five other Earth-observing spacecraft that make up what NASA has dubbed the "A train."
During its $424 million mission, Glory will study key aspects of global climate change. Specifically, scientists hope to learn how the sun and small particles called aerosols affect weather on Earth.