The launch of Antares rocket led by private space company Orbital Sciences Corporation, which was scheduled for Monday, was postponed until Tuesday after a singular stray boat drifted into the launch site, causing disruptions in the space mission.
The Anteres rocket ship was scheduled to blast off from the Wallops Flight Facility of the US space agency NASA at Virginia’s Wallops Island on Monday evening. But the launch plans were called off as a boat was found appearing downrange of the launching site.
According to the officials, the launch was called off just 10 minutes before the scheduled timings for the purpose of public safety. Officials said that the rocket’s flight would have taken it above the singular boat, putting the people on board in absolute danger.
“This was strictly a range issue this evening that terminated the count just 10 minutes before the scheduled liftoff time at the end of a 10-minute window,” Rob Navias, NASA TV commentator, said during a webcast.
The rocket, which was bound for the International Space Station as a part of the resupply missions, was loaded with nearly 5,000 pounds of supplies and space experiments.
The officials have also sounded a public safety alert to the boaters ahead of the launch, asking them to strictly avoid two zones downrange from Wallops Flight Facility of the NASA. The notice that was issued in this regard said that if the boaters fail to follow the imposed restriction on the designated zones, they would liable for fines or arrests.
According to the NASA officials, the launch of the cargo ship would be reattempted on Tuesday night at approximately 6:22 p.m.
The US space agency has signed an agreement worth USD 1.9 million with the private space exploration firms to conduct several cargo missions to the International Space Station (ISS).