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Space

Launch of NASA's QuikScat satellite delayed

Titan2
The Titan II launch vehicle is a decommissioned ICBM
 ALSO:
NASA prepares to launch El Niño-watcher
  

June 17, 1999
Web posted at: 12:49 p.m. EDT (1649 GMT)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, California (CNN) -- The launch of NASA's wind-observing QuikScat satellite has been postponed a day so engineers can look into an instrument problem on the Titan II launch vehicle.

The launch over the Pacific Ocean had been set for Friday evening, but engineers on Tuesday discovered noisy data from a telecommunications instrument on the Titan II rocket during a final spacecraft system test

Launch now is set for 7:15 p.m. from Vandenberg Air Force Base, about 140 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Engineers will use the extra day to investigate the cause of the communications problem and replace circuits and other equipment if necessary.

The $93 million mission is designed to collect daily data on the relationship between sea winds and the weather, bouncing microwaves off the ocean surface to measure the speed and direction of vast surface winds as they influence weather patterns and marine currents.

QuikScat, managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and designed and built by Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. of Colorado, is expected to provide key data that will improve daily and long-term weather forecasts.


RELATED STORIES:
Busy hurricane season predicted, due to La Niña
May 27, 1999
Weather tracker set for May launch
April 30, 1999
NASA set to launch Earth-watching satellite
April 1, 1999

RELATED SITES:
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
California Institute of Technology Press release on QuikScat
SeaWinds on QuikSCAT
  •  Winds: News: SeaWinds Instrument Shipped for QuikSCAT Integration
Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp - QuikSCAT
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