FL - Computer Cancels Atlas Launch

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Title: Computer Cancels Atlas Launch

By Jim Banke Senior Producer, Cape Canaveral posted: 05:56 pm ET 15 May 00

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- A balky computer in the Bermuda radar tracking station forced Lockheed Martin to scrub the launch attempt of the first-ever Atlas 3-A rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Launch is rescheduled for Tuesday between 5:37 and 7:57 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (21:37 to 23:57 GMT).

The weather forecast is better for tomorrow, with a 90-percent chance of acceptable conditions.

Monday's launch attempt was called off when it became clear that a radar system in Bermuda that is used to keep track of where the rocket is as it climbs toward orbit could not be fixed in time to support the launch.

The portable radar system is part of the Eastern Range, which is managed by the U.S. Air Force's 45th Space Wing, headquartered at Patrick Air Force Base here on Florida's Space Coast.

The rocket, which features the first-ever use of Russian engines on an American missile, is to carry a European communications satellite into an orbit 22,300 miles (35, 885 kilometers) above the equator.



-- (Dee360Degree@aol.com), May 15, 2000

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