The launch of NASA's Genesis spacecraft aboard a Delta II rocket was postponed today
because of thick cloud conditions in the flight path of the launch vehicle. Launch will
now occur no earlier than 12:27:09 p.m. EDT (9:27:09 a.m. PDT) on Thursday, Aug. 2.
Mission managers will assemble for a weather update at about 10 p.m. EDT tonight to
determine the feasibility of a launch attempt Thursday. The current forecast indicates an
80 percent chance of weather violation Thursday, a 60 percent chance of violation Friday
and a 40 percent chance of violation Saturday. The primary concerns are rain showers,
thick clouds and thunderstorms.
No significant technical issues were worked during the countdown, and the Delta II
rocket and Genesis spacecraft remain in excellent health. The two-minute launch window
opens Friday at 12:23:53 p.m. EDT (9:23:53 a.m. PDT), and Saturday at 12:23:40 p.m.
EDT (9:23:40 a.m. PDT).
The thick cloud rule prohibits launch if the vehicle's flight path travels through
nontransparent clouds greater than 4,500 feet (about 1,370 meters) thick. Updates from
the weather reconnaissance aircraft reported clouds 8,000 feet (about 2,440 meters) thick
in the Delta's flight path during the final built-in hold at T-4 minutes.