HIRDLS - EOS AURA Launch - July 15 at 11:02am BST

Latest News   UK Press Briefing Event   UK Launch event at RAL

Latest News

15th July, 11:50am BST - HIRDLS onboard the AURA spacecraft was successfully launched at 11:02am BST from Vandenberg AFB, California.

The latest information about the mission flight are available from the NASA JFK Space Center website.

Re-play the launch sequence HERE.

15th July, 07:30am BST - The AURA Launch is on schedule for a lift-off this morning at 11:02am BST. The countdown activities have started. The P3 aircraft is flying.

14th July, 06:30pm BST - AURA LAUNCH POSTPONED TO JULY 15th or JULY 17th:

The launch of NASA's Aura spacecraft atop a Boeing Delta II rocket was scrubbed this morning due to an issue with one of the two batteries on the second stage of the Delta II launch vehicle. At approximately three minutes before the scheduled liftoff time, as the batteries were being transferred to internal power, the battery current level dropped below prescribed limits, triggering a launch hold.

Engineers and mission managers are assessing the situation and will meet at 6 p.m. EDT (11p.m. BST) today to decide a date for the next launch attempt. Two options are being considered. The first is to attempt a launch on Thursday morning, July 15, during a three-minute launch window that opens at 6:01:59 a.m. EDT (11:01:59 a.m. BST). The second option under consideration is to stand down until Saturday, July 17, due to range conflicts at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Weather is a concern for a launch attempt on Thursday morning. The current forecast calls for only a 60 percent probability of acceptable weather conditions. The primary concerns are for thick clouds and the possibility of triggered lightning in the launch area due to the remnants of daytime thunderstorm activity in Southern California. In addition, Tropical Storm Blas, off the coast of Baja California, could prevent a P3 aircraft from flying to its launch support position. The P3 relays telemetry from the launch vehicle back to the launch team at Vandenberg.

14th July, 07:40am BST - NASA has confirmed new launch date is Wednesday 14th July, 11:02am BST.

13th July, 10:30am BST - The Spacecraft Mission Director has called a hold.
The launch has been scrubbed for 24-48 hours - new launch date is 14th July, 11:02 am BST
There is a possible problem with the spacecraft recorder.

HIRDLS onboard EOS-AURA has been rescheduled for launch on Tuesday July 13th 2004 at 11:02am BST.

Due to a Launch Vehicle connector issue that remains open as of Friday nights delta-Launch Readiness Review (LRR), the NEW Launch Readiness date has been changed to NET 12 July (Monday).

The AURA launch was put on hold for 24 hours on Wednesday to allow time to complete the evaluation of mission risk due to the recent bulletin about failures due to nickel flake shorting in transistors with pure nickel cans. NASA gave the go-ahead yesterday for the 2nd stage fueling and is currently working towards a launch on Sunday 11th July at 11:01 BST. The launch readiness review is to be conducted today Friday 9th July. A final decision to launch is due this evening.

The launch will be on board a Boeing DELTA-2 launcher from Vanderberg Air Force Base in California, USA.

The NASA AURA Media kit will be made available soon.

The UK launch event information line is available on 01235 44 64 33 for latest information.

UK Launch event at RAL

A launch event was held at the CCLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) in Oxfordshire on Tuesday 13th July 2004 until the launch was aborted 20mn before lift-off.

A series of presentation was given and can now be re-played: HERE

UK Press Briefing

The UK Press Briefing, organised by the British National Space Centre (BNSC) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) was held at the Science Museum in London on Tuesday 8th June 2004. See BNSC Press release on 8th June 2004.