CYGNSS Satellite Mission Rescheduled for the Second Time

CYGNSS (Image: NASA.gov)

NASA partnered with the University of Michigan to bring the CYGNSS mission to life. The goal of this mission is to improve extreme weather forecasts by launching a constellation of eight “micro-satellites” which would closely monitor hurricanes.

The satellites were originally set to launch from Cape Canaveral on Monday December 12, aboard the Orbital ATK air-launched Pegasus XL launch vehicle. The launch has run into a few problems though. After take off Monday morning a problem with the hydraulics system was discovered, keeping the Pegasus XL rocket from releasing from the aircraft. After troubleshooting the issue en route, the aircraft was brought back down.

The launch was then set for Wednesday, December 13. The trouble this time would come from the spacecraft software. The problem was actually determined during routine tests Tuesday and new flight parameter data was uploaded to the spacecraft Wednesday morning. It did delay the launch again despite the issue being fixed so quickly.

Now NASA has targeted a new window for launch on Thursday, December 15 from seven to eight in the morning. According to US Air Force meteorologists the forecast calls for an 80 percent chance of acceptable conditions during the 1-hour launch window.

You can watch the launch taking place on NASA-TV starting at 7:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.